Trial or Blessing? BOTH!

Most everyone knows this by now…Bob had a car accident. The woman who witnessed the whole thing said he just was drawn off the road and into the tree like the tree was a huge magnet drawing him in. No hesitation, no swerving, no brakes.  He just hit the tree and “flipped like a pancake” back into the road.  Bob’s car ended upside-down in the roadway!  Several Alpine locals came to his aid until the CHP, Sheriffs and paramedics arrived.  My friend that witnessed the accident was thrilled when she heard him crying for help as she was convinced that he might have died.  Alpine is a small town and I have heard from several people that saw the crashed car. They really felt that whoever was in the car probably had severe injuries but no, Bob escaped with just a few cuts and bruises.  He really wasn’t even sore!

So what happened? Bob is not sure. He explained to the CHP, the nurses, the doctors, and all others that one eye went shut and he couldn’t get it back open and then the other eyewent shut.  Since the doctor later ruled out a heart attack or stroke, they believe he just fell asleep.

Bob was transported by ambulance to the Sharp Memorial Hospital Trauma Center where he was checked out from stem to stern. CT Scans were done and there were NO injuries from the accident.  He didn’t even require stitches on his head, arm, and knee where he had been cut.  His head wound and arm wound really bled as he is on blood thinner.  I think the amount of blood and the fact that he has a pace maker are two of the reasons that he went to the trauma center.  Also because they didn’t know the cause of the accident and needed to make sure he hadn’t had a stoke/heart attack.  I applaud the care he was given at Sharp Memorial.  Everyone was so attentive and so kind—to both of us.  Bob is not a good patient and has no patience in the hospital.  He felt fine and wanted to go home.  They weren’t going to let him go home until he was fully examined and cleared.  Two long days.

So long story short, the car was totaled. USAA handle the claim efficiently and fairly. The payoff check is in our savings. The extended car warranty has been cancelled and there will be a refund check coming in a month.  Our health insurance and car insurance has handled all the costs and we haven’t even paid a copayment!  No more insurance premiums or car maintenance expenses on that car anymore.  All good things for retirees on a fixed budget!

There’s no car sitting in the driveway to tempt Bob to drive. I’m Bob’s full time chauffer now and he is handling it like a trooper.  After months of my attempts to “take his key away”, it was taken care of by the accident and his crazy memory issues.  He is convinced that a “Federal Judge” came to the hospital and told him he couldn’t drive anymore!  That’s his story and he’s sticking to it.  Works for me!!

Although dealing with the scare of a bad rollover accident, a few days in the hospital, the mountains of insurance paperwork, the endless phone calls, countless doctors’ appointments, and all the hassles that come with an accident, I am still calling this accident a blessing. Not only was Bob not hurt but no one else was hurt.  A solo car accident that he came out of unscathed!!  God had his hand on my hubby that day.

The biggest blessing is that Bob has now given up driving without a battle and without him blaming me or anyone else for “taking his keys away”!

So a song came on the car radio today and I nearly cried but instead of crying, I sung out the lyrics at the top of my lungs.  (Blessings by Laura Story)

What if trials of this life

The rain, the storms, the hardest nights

Are your mercies in disguise

Bob just stared at me. I squeezed his hand and gave thanks for the trials and God’s mercies.

Here’s where he ended up!!!
Here is Bob & his car at the storage lot—he found his missing hat!

Kindly Listen!

Bob seems to talk more to strangers than anyone else. He is not shy and will just randomly talk to anyone we are near at the market, in the line at the movie, sitting in church, and everywhere.  I usually just cringe and try to get him to stop by tapping him on the arm.  It doesn’t work.  He can totally ignore my little taps and keep on talking.  I don’t know why it stresses me so but it’s usually because I think that people don’t want to be approached by a stranger. Plus I’m terrified on what he might say!

He often starts with something like “I hope it’s not too personal to ask you this but…” That scares me, why would he ask something that he thinks is too personal?  Usually it’s not personal and everyone gets a chuckle out of his question.  Like how do you pronounce your name (if he’s read it on a name tag)!  Sometimes they are personal questions such as “are you older than me?”  That’s a good one, especially when the person is obviously MUCH younger.  I’ve tried to impress upon him that he doesn’t need to wonder (out loud!) about the age of older men and women but he just doesn’t seem to be able to keep that to himself.

Hair is another big topic with strangers. When he sees a young child he will tell them that he likes their hair and then he will take off his baseball cap to show his bald head.  Most 1 year olds don’t get the joke but he says it all the time.  ALL the time.  Most parents will just smile and say thank you and hurry on.  They usually scatter!  This is when I try to talk about personal space and boundaries.  To no avail!

Bob often sees people that he thinks are people he knows. Yesterday at a Denny’s Restaurant he stopped and talked to a man who he thought he have worked with on the Police Department.  The man was probably 30 years younger than Bob so it wasn’t a very realistic connection.  Bob chit-chatted with the man while I hurried on to pay the bill and get out of hearing range.  A few hours later at the Model Train Museum in Balboa Park, he sees a man and is 100% sure that it’s the same man.  He hollers “hi Burt” to the man and the man tells him that his name is not Burt.  Bob talks with him a while and tells him how good it was to see him again.  That man looked totally confused as he should have.  He was not the same man.  Bob still thinks it was his old friend Burt!  Who is Burt?!

Bob will pull out his Fit-Bit step counter (he has the old-school model that you carry in your pocket) and show the steps that he has taken that day to anyone and everyone that might look his way. In addition, he’ll tell them that he had a chest surgery (never does he say heart surgery) and he has three doctors that have told him to get in his 10,000 daily steps.  If they haven’t run off by now he’ll give them updates on his latest doctor appointments.  I left our table recently at a café to pay the bill at the front counter and I waited and waited for him to join me at the front.  I went back inside the dining room to see where he was and he was showing his fit-bit to a table of 4 that was dining next to us.  He told me that they asked him for his advice on how to count their steps.  Funny thing, I had heard this family talking during the time that we were seated next to them and they were NOT speaking English.  I can’t even imagine that they struck up the conversation with him or that they had asked him for Fit-Bit advice!  I think he just had an urge to show his Fit-Bit and chat a little!!

Bob has several pins on his hat. An American flag and a small police badge replica.  Bob tells me that he people come up and talk to him because they see these badges and like them!   What really happens is that he’ll start talking to the person next to him and he will point out his badge and tell them that he was a policeman.  And that opens the door for him to talk more and more about himself.  If the person does get a word in, Bob doesn’t hear it or remember what they said.  He only wants to talk!  Recently, he told a couple at the movie that he was retired from the SDPD and he rambled on a bit.  They told him a few things (which I overheard).  Later I asked him he found it unusual that they both had degrees in Criminal Justice Administration and he said that he didn’t hear that.  He talks to talk.  Not to carry on a conversation.

Just last week, he told a waiter that the friends we were dining with were his golfing buddies that he had worked with on the Police Department. The waiter was so excited to hear that and told Bob that he wanted to be a police officer and had an application in right now.  Pretty cool conversation that Bob didn’t catch any of.  He didn’t respond or even catch that comment.  When I mentioned it to him later after we had left, he was so surprised.

More and more men with beards and glasses remind him of our son Kyle. Now instead of just pointing them out to me, he wants to talk to them and tell them of their resemblance to Kyle.  Or he wants to holler it across a room or wave to the man on the freeway in the car next to us.  Las Sunday, it was the guest worship leader in church that was a twin to Kyle (NOT!) and I was so nervous that Bob was going to scream out in church!  Instead he just told the people sitting around us. Several times and rather loudly.

This month’s most common story that Bob tells strangers, check-out clerks, delivery men, repair guys, and anyone else is that his daughter turned 60! He loves their reaction when they declare that he just can’t be old enough to have a 60-year-old daughter. That opens the door for him to talk about having a son 61 and a son 29.  Everyone kindly listens.

So I guess that’s my story. Everyone kindly listens to him. Thank you to those strangers (and friends and family) that have listened to his stories and smiled and listened.  Thanks for giving him grace and kindness.

And for me, May God give me the patience and wisdom to deal with our ever-changing and challenging life.  And to kindly listen to Bob.

 

 

Bob and his daughter Julie—this is what 60 and 80 look like!  WOW!!!

Julie and Bob

RECALCULATING!

When GPS systems were new, I bought a Garmin Navigation System and hooked it up in my car. I would input the address and ask for the GPS to get me where I wanted to go. It had a voice and would tell me to turn right or turn left.  When I didn’t go where it wanted me to go, it would repeatedly say “recalculating, recalculating”. Once it recalculated, it would try to get me back on track and have me follow its directions again. Sometimes I just flat out ignored it and went where ever I wanted to go while it continually hollered at me in the background. All of this drove Kyle nuts.  Kyle would ask me what the heck I was doing!  If I wasn’t going to follow the GPS, then why was I even using it? Good question from my very smart teenage son. I had no answer.

I realized this week that God is the GPS in my life and I surely better take His direction better than that Garmin I once used. I’d be a fool to not go where He directs me or go off in another direction just because I think I know better. What disrespect that shows for God who knows the plan perfectly because it’s His perfect plan for me! It’s a sure bet that I don’t know better.  So I will listen for His voice and His directions and follow His lead without hesitation and with total trust.

For this God is our God for ever and ever; He will be our guide even to the end. Psalms 48:14

Of course, you may ask, what does this have to do with Bob with one “o”? Nothing really. It’s just what’s on my heart today.

I Want To Hold Your Hand

I ran into a friend at a memorial service.  I hadn’t seen her in many years and when she asked how Bob was, I almost broke down.  My eyes teared up and I could barely speak.

When I regained a bit of composure, I explained the Bob had a cognitive disorder brought on by vascular issues and he was dealing with memory loss and confusion.  She seemed ever so surprised as she sees my Facebook posts with us taking walks, going to Balboa Park and the Beach, taking great-grandchildren the zoo and SeaWorld, hosting parties, going to church and movies, and traveling.  Our life look really great and very normal to her through the eyes of Facebook.  What doesn’t show is that Bob often doesn’t know the names of the friends and family that we spend time with, he doesn’t drive to any of the places we go, and he doesn’t remember what we are doing or what we have done from day to day.

At our family Christmas gathering Bob met a granddaughter for the first time (NOT!) and he thought she was really pretty and really nice.  She handled this with such poise and gracefulness and responded that it was nice to meet him, too!  If she was hurt by Bob forgetting her, she didn’t make him feel that way.  I love her even more for handling her grandpa as respectfully and kindly as she did.

A recent trip to a granddaughter’s home had Bob meeting all sorts of “new people”.  What is surprising is that we had been to that same home three weeks earlier and had meet the same “new people” then.  He didn’t remember going there before.

A recent rip to Balboa Park had Bob all mixed up on the names of the local roads—especially Martin Luther King Freeway.  He said that MLK was a famous soccer player and he was surprised that the road was named after him.  He mentioned that there are lots of roads in San Diego named after Nat King Cole and that makes more sense.  I don’t think we have any Nat King Cole Avenues!! 

When at a recent walk at the beach, Bob pointed out the “rafts” (surf boards) and said that they didn’t have those when he was young. I tried to refresh his memoires of surfing as a young man with his oldest son Steve and driving an old hearse to carry the surfboards.  His daughters have often told the stories of painting 70’s colorful flowers on the hearse and that the SDPD even borrowed it for use in a drug bust! None of those storied jogged his memory and he just repeated that he had never had a “raft”.  I tried to smile as I moved on to a new topic but my heart hurt that he has lost those precious memories.

At a Christmas party with friends, Bob announced that he couldn’t play the gift exchange game as there was STEALING involved! He further explained that he had taking a written oath to never steal when he went on the Police Department in 1962 and if he played this game and stole a gift that he could risk losing his retirement pay.  He told this story loudly and repeatedly to everyone there.  Most of the people who are aware of his cognitive issues made kind comments about how smart he was to not risk his retirement.  The ones that had no idea of his mental issue really gave him some odd looks.  That one might just take the cake for being the strangest comment he has made all month.

I recently told Bob that I wanted to watch a Christmas special on TV by Dr. Jeremiah (our pastor).  He said that sounded great and asked if it was about my knee pain and possible knee replacement surgery!  He had heard me say DOCTOR and went that direction.  Our conversations are often like that.

So Bob tests my patience.  I try my hardest to not correct him or try to tell him the real version of the story.  I just nod and say “oh, that’s interesting” or “that’s cool”.  Any attempt to make him change his mind is met with a huge objection and he insists that he is correct and I am just being bossy and a know-it-all! 

So I think we are doing well considering the hurdles.  We enjoy our time together, our time with family and friends, our times at the movies, our traveling, and church.  I count our blessings daily.  He has a good attitude, likes being around his family and friends, and finds joy in simple things.  Bob’s physical health is pretty darn good and he likes to get his 10,000 steps in most days of the week.

I’m reminded daily that Bob isn’t behaving as he is to be difficult or to aggravate me.  The changes are the result of damage to his brain and are beyond Bob’s control  Even though Bob has changed dramatically, he is still a special and unique person.  When I tell myself that piece of truth, it makes everything easier to contend with. 

Sometimes our communication is hard but handholding is always easy.

SD Safari Park 2017

God’s Got This!!

Back in July 2015, Bob had open heart surgery. It was a huge ordeal and a very long surgery as both his mitral valve and aortic valve were replaced, numerous by-passes were done, a  hole in his heart was repaired, an ablation procedure (or two) was done to correct heart rhythm,  and a few other issues were addressed.  He ended up with A-fib and a pace maker but all in all, it was a successful surgery.

At the time of the surgery, my sister Christie suggested that I stop fretting and write down the blessings of the surgery. At that moment, I thought she was nuts.  What blessings could we be given during this period?  Dealing with open heart surgery was far from a feeling of being blessed.

But I took her advice and kept notes on a little notepad in my purse of the things that were going on that were blessings. What happened was this list of blessings grew and grew. I was being shown that God has His hand on everything and God had us in His control. I pulled out that little notepad many times a day to remind myself that God was in charge and to praise Him for the blessings. I would read my list of blessings to Bob.  I would read them over and over to myself.  They calmed me as they were the proof I needed that God had us in His hand.  I could stop worrying as God was in charge!

I have kept that notepad and thought I would share just some the blessings of that surgery.

  • We had recently returned from a vacation to China and fortunately Bob had not had any medical problems during that trip.
  • I had recently had a minor hernia surgery that went so smoothly. I might not have had that surgery if I had known that Bob needed a MAJOR surgery.
  • Everything I needed to do for Kyle and Elizabeth’s wedding in a few months was done already. Bob and I had our new clothes for the wedding and the rehearsal dinner was planned and organized.
  • The scheduling nurse rushed Bob’s surgery and facilitated getting it scheduled quickly so that Bob would have time to mend and heal before Kyle and Elizabeth’s wedding in October. I had asked if we could delay the surgery until AFTER K&E’s wedding and was told that was not possible due to Bob’s condition. She listened to my concerns and jumped through hoops for us.
  • My work can be unpredictable and demanding but God cleared my schedule and allowed me to have all the time I needed to be at the hospital and help Bob at home for several weeks.
  • Bob’s cardiologist is a Kaiser Doctor but they partner with Scripps for Heart surgeries. Bob’s surgeon was a top-of-the line surgeon causing many people to ask us, “How did you get Dr. Brewster?”
  • Bob’s hospital was Scripps Prebys Cardiovascular Institute—a brand new, top of the line facility that had JUST opened. Bob had a pretty posh room and a lovely view!
  • Friends and family came to the hospital in droves. Bob and I both needed this so much!
  • Bob needed a Nephrologist (kidney Doctor) after the surgery and by “luck of the draw”, Bob was assigned a specialist that grandson Cameron knew professionally. Bob got extra special attention from Dr. Friend.
  • Once home, cards and phone calls came along with visits and food!
  • Bob’s medical insurance covered ALL costs except for his $100.00 copay. Over $520,000 covered. Seriously!
  • And more and more and more…

 

LEAVE EVERYTHING IN GOD’S HAND AND YOU WILL EVENTUALLY SEE GOD’S HAND IN EVERYTHING.

It doesn’t matter whether you are or aren’t going through trials; my suggestion to you is that you start listing your blessings today as well. Write them down.  Type them in the Note section on your phone.  Text them to a friend.  Post them on Facebook. Scribble them on a scrap of paper.  Write them neatly on an index card.

Focus on God’s hand in EVERYTHING! Big things, little things, all things.

Focus on the blessings.

I think its time for me to start a new blessings notepad today, too!

A sweet picture of his daughters loving on him while in intensive care.

Bob’s surgeon, Dr. Brewster

Bob’s favorite Get-Well Card!

I see your true colors….

In October, Bob and I had a fun vacation to Illinois (visited Chicago) and Michigan (St. Joseph). The main purpose of our trip was to attend the wedding of young man that we have known since he was in kindergarten.  He and his family have become dear friends and we didn’t want to miss being with him on his wedding day.  So off to the Midwest we went for a week of adventures.

This story revolves around traveling with Bob–he enjoys it and as I have said before, it is like “traveling for two”. I do all the planning; make all the arrangements for plane tickets, rental car, lodging, etc.  He just goes along! Quite happily.

Have you traveled with a small inquisitive child? What are we doing today? Where are we going? How do you work the remote? Where will we get a car? How do you know how to get where we are going? Did you get us a ticket for our plane flight home? How will we know when to get on our plane?  What gate should we go to? What are they asking us? Can I get something to drink?  Why do I need to empty my pockets?  Where are our suitcases?  What’s an Uber? How do I turn on the hot water? Do you know how to open our door? Do you know what floor our room is on? Is this the right way to go? Is this our street? Why did we come to Chicago? Is the menu in a foreign language? Would I like that to eat? Do you know how to get to our hotel? Will I need a jacket? Where are my gloves? Did we pack an umbrella? And on and on and on.  Yes, I’m “traveling for two” or traveling with an 80-year-old who acts like a two-year old!

So here’s my story…at the wedding reception, Bob reached for a small white heart that was part of the centerpiece. It was a piece of the decor and I tried to stop him from popping it in his mouth.  No luck, he ignored my loud and strong warning that it wasn’t candy and he just started chewing.  And chewing.  And chewing.  I just silently watched and wondered how long he would chew on this Styrofoam piece of decor.  Finally he took out his handkerchief and spit it out, declaring that it wasn’t candy!  His mood went from good to bad and he sulked the rest of the evening.  He had traveled over 2,000 miles to attend this wedding and he ended up in a funky mood over my “bossing him around”!

The point of my story–Bob will ask my advice and guidance and rely on me to take care of EVERYTHING all day long but when I do offer up a bit of advice (Don’t eat that, it’s not candy), I become a bossy person and he sulks and complains about being told what to do.

I am trying my hardest to let Bob talk nonsense, make up false stories, and do silly things but occasionally I feel I need to stop him. Most of the time I can ignore his new behavior but times I feel I need to stop him either when he is doing something goofy or saying something inappropriate. I constantly bounce between being a big nag and being a patient caregiver.  I wake up every morning and pray that I can be a good wife, friend, and caregiver and not the queen of complaining and correcting. It usually only takes a few minutes or so until I’m presented with a challenge and I’m given the opportunity to show my true colors.  And I’m praying those true colors are beautiful.

So I continue on singing the chorus…

And I see your true colors
Shining through
I see your true colors
and that’s why I love you

IMG_E9455

Chris and Libby Morrison’s Wedding  October 6, 2018

…with His righteous right hand!

IMG_E4090  Bob in Maui/80th b-day celebration/April 2018

I haven’t written in a while. I hate to just go on and on about the silly things Bob says and does.  Even though the things he does are often quite entertaining. Even today, a couple of silly things happened but I’ll save those for another time.  Living with Bob with one “o” is always interesting.

I’ve had lots of drama going on around me. It seems that it’s hard to have a totally peaceful life as the people who I love are dealing with so many issues. Whether it is finances, marriage, health, divorce, depression, envy, greed, drugs, alcohol, school, or work—most people I know have their personal demon they are doing battle with. Sadly, some have multiple demons that are wreaking havoc with their lives.

I’ve always heard that if you took the entire world’s problems and put those in a bag, mixed them all up, spilled them out, and then you were told you could pick any one of the problems; you would always pick your own. Yep. I agree.  I will gladly pick our situation/problem every time. Every time.  Hands down every time.

So that being said, I am going to work to keep my complaining to a minimum and count Bob’s cognitive issues and our life together as a huge blessing. My problems are small in comparison to those of so many others. I feel fortunate that this man loves me and I’m trying to make sure that he feels that same love from me!

There are so many scriptures in the Bible about how to deal with adversity. God must have known that we would have troubles and be in constant need of help in dealing with our problems.  Tonight the one that comes to mind is:

Isaiah 41:10

So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

 

What else do I need? God gives me strength, help, and protection.

I’m good.

Really good.

50 First Dates

Do any of you remember this wonderful Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore movie? It was a favorite of mine and Kyle’s–we watched it over and over.  Today I felt like I was living it.  Let me explain…

Bob has always been the one to pump the gas when we go to the gas station. Last week, when using our credit card he was prompted to put in the zip code.  He was stumped.  He told me that he had no idea what was being requested and was certain that he had never been asked to do this task before.  I showed him how to put in the zip code and we got our gas.  I was pretty shocked that this was a task he had problems with.

Next time we stopped for gas, Bob seemed to understand the zip code request but he had no idea what our zip code was. I told him, he imputed it on the key pad, and we got our gas.  We talked about this and I told him if he had problems in the future, he could look on his driver’s license.  Bob was so shocked! “Really, he said, where would our zip code be on my driver’s license?!”

Experiencing this decline in mental clarity, I felt it was time to implement a new plan that MIGHT slow his memory loss and cognitive decline. Things were getting worse and I needed to try something new.

I have been following the Keto (Ketogenic) Diet for well over a year and have done a ton of research about the health benefits of the Keto way of eating. There is a book call The Alzheimer’s Antidote that explains how to use a low carb/high fat diet to combat Alzheimer’s, memory loss, and cognitive decline.  I had a good long discussion with Bob about altering his way of eating–changing over time from his high sugar/carb diet to a low carb, high fat diet that would fuel and hopefully repair his brain.  He was on board as he too was feeling that his cognitive issues were increasing and he was having more and more brain fog and confusion.

Our simple plan was to start slowly and remove one high carb/sugar food item from his routine each week and to add a couple of brain healthy items. With gradual changes, he eventually would be eating a revised Keto diet geared towards fueling his body and brain with healthy low carb non-processed foods.

I went to bed grateful to have been able to explain the healthy benefits of Keto eating to Bob and feeling like we were going to be making a difference in his health. In the morning we were starting on improving his nutritional health! Ready, set, go!

Well if you remember how things went in 50 First Dates, you can already guess what happened.  Bob work up and didn’t really remember much of what we talked about the day before.  His first meal of the day consisted of toaster waffles with syrup, Honey Nut Cheerios, low-fat milk, and a HALF of a banana. His only change was to eat HALF of a banana instead of his normal full banana.  The banana was the only non-processed food and he cut it in half and continued to eat HUGE portions of the high carb processed foods. The food Bob had agreed (the night before) to add for the week was no longer a consideration.  He didn’t want to change and eat foods he didn’t “like” and didn’t remember agreeing to make any changes albeit small.

Bob’s first day of trying a new healthy eating plan was a dismal failure.

So this evening, once again,  I tried to explain the Keto way of eating and encourage Bob to see that he might be able to fight his cognitive decline with nutrition. And we will see what tomorrow brings.

Now I think I’ll watch 50 First Dates on Netflix.  I need to be reminded how Adam Sandler handled this!

I wonder how the fishing is today?

In my family when I was growing up and as an adult whenever the conversation would go off track—be it gossip, politics, religion or sex—my dad would chime in with “I wonder how the fishing is today?” That was his clue to stop the current conversation and change the topic.  He did it kindly and gently but we all knew that this retired Marine Captain meant it.  It was time to stop our babble and this simple sentence would rein us in.  Quickly.  Immediately.

Bob has a tendency to speak out of turn and to talk about things that are just plain inappropriate. His neurologist says that it’s an issue with “lack of filter” and that describes it perfectly.  Bob just doesn’t realize that what he saying is hurtful, sexist, racist, unsuitable, or downright rude!  He just spews it out like he was talking about the weather.  I would give you some examples but I just can’t put in writing what he has said!

Bob’s children and most of the grandchildren know it is not advisable to tell dad/grandpa everything. If you don’t want things repeated or talked about at the wrong place and time, its best to just not tell him.  It makes me sad that I have to keep “secrets” with him but in the long run its better for family harmony.

I’ve tried to set up a code word or phrase with Bob to let him know that the topic he is starting to discuss is off-limits but nothing works. I give him a little look, tap his shoulder, nudge his arm, grasp his leg, kick his foot, and even holler out, “Bob, stop it” but nothing works.  He goes on and finishes the crazy story to the amazement of everyone within hearing distance.  OH MY!

I’ve tried to explain the technique my dad would use to get a conversation back on track but Bob says he doesn’t understand what fishing has to do with anything.

So if you hear me asking how the fishing is today, please cover your ears and don’t listen to what Bob has to say.  PLEASE!

Fishing Trip~~~Channel Islands~~~November 2013

Are You Thinking What I’m Thinking?

I had a strange moment last week. My friend Candace who had moved to Texas a few months back was on my mind.  I was thinking about her upcoming birthday and thought about getting together with her and her hubby for dinner to celebrate.  I pondered what day would work best and where we should go for a few minutes and then bam—the light came on!  She doesn’t live here in Alpine anymore and we couldn’t go to dinner.  It was such a strange sensation to have had such a clear conversation in my head about something that was totally ridiculous!   It was clear and real for a few minutes even though there was not a possibility of it really happening.

I thought about Bob. He says and thinks so many things that are just not right.  Sometimes downright impossible.  But he always believes that they are true and there is no reason to try to change his mind about them.  They are facts and truths to him.

The only difference in his thinking and what happened to me is that I quickly reverted back to clear thinking and he stays mired in half-truths and confusion.

What I need to remember is that to Bob, his thoughts are truths.  There’s no need to point out any discrepancies or try to convince him otherwise.  I need to remember that brief feeling I had when I was confused (and didn’t know I was for a few moments) and give him grace when he is mixed up. To Bob those thoughts are as real as can be.

Thank you Lord for showing me a glimpse of what might be going on in Bob’s mind. You got my attention!

Yep, that’s the world according to Bob with one O and it’s an interesting place!!

nathan's graduation