Our lives are a symphonic composition written and conducted by God HIMSELF. HE raps the proverbial baton as our life begins and orchestrates our life-music to Al Fine. Blessings, mercy, grace, storms, and discipline all flow through HIS hands into and around us influencing everything. Our decisions are all based on what HIS grace allows and what HIS mercy withholds. While we have full reign over our choices, HE does send influence to guide us into all truth and eternal life with HIM. There are movements of extended harmonic and rhythmic chords to long passages of dissonant chords and syncopated rhythm within a symphony just as in life. There are times of sweetness and joy and there are times of chaos and upheaval. Yet, in the end, we can be completely satisfied with the skill of our Maestro, if we allow HIS leading through every phase.
When I was first diagnosed with moderate Early Onset Alzheimer’s my family was and still is my main concern. I want them to have full, complete, joyful lives. I have always tried to smooth the way for them so they could fulfill their destiny. Teaching my children the difference between right and wrong, cleaning the home, preparing meals, ironing clothes, (thank God that task has lessened over the years), and spending hours in prayer asking for God’s protection and guidance for each of my loves. That part has not changed. What has changed is how I can smooth out the rough patches ahead for them. That is my job, because I am a wife, mother and grandmother, and my love for them dictates what I do and when I am to do so. I asked God to help me think of all the ways I could remove some stumbling blocks from their path. With the help of my loving, supportive family and two incredible friends, I have accomplished everything I needed to do within 2 months.
I began with creating memory boxes that my family can open and go through with me to help provoke beautiful memories. Lots of photos, books, CD’s, trinkets, collectibles, etc. fill boxes of love. We have already looked through all the photos and enjoyed plenty of laughs, travels through time, and “awww” moments.
My oldest son, who lives in Tucson, flew in and I sat at the table with my three children, my husband and two dear friends. I filled out a Living Will and DNR with specifications, signed over legal power of attorney for medical decisions and signed over financial power of attorney. The DNR was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. I wanted to just fall apart and walk away, but knew I could not and would not allow myself an easy pass. My goal was to make what is to come easier for them, not me. I fought with all that I had to not cry and make it any harder on anyone. Giving over all control of my finances wasn’t terribly hard as my hubby always makes sure I have more than I need. I do enjoy playing in the stock market and shopping, the control over my own financial slice of the pie, but I can live just fine without those. The medical power given to someone else was a little harder as I realize that it is getting harder for me to explain what is going on in my mind already; the forgetfulness, the impenetrable blank wall, the time loss, so that will soon to be in full force. I also filled out my will and appointed an executor.
This past Sunday was an amazing day on the symphonic scale like Beethoven’s 3rd. I heard my beloved hubby preach again for the first time in 25 years. The long wait was worth it to see God’s anointing and gracious hand still upon his life. He has been teaching a Bible study at church the past few weeks, but it is not quite the same as seeing and feeling his unique style of preaching. I felt so completely blessed to have lived to see and experience that moment with him. When I was battling cancer and he was facing a possible heart-transplant, neither of us were to sure we would live to love this day, yet here we were because of God’s orchestration.
After both Sunday morning services, two of our children and my husband and I drove out to Bluebonnet Hills Memorial Park in Colleyville and they helped me choose a lakeside family plot. We purchased one large enough for family members who choose to be buried there as well, after many, many more decades of LIFE. I chose an area right next to the lake with a beautiful blue marble headstone and bench and when you sit on the bench you have a gorgeous view of the lake and fountain, birds chirping in the trees around me, and butterflies alighting every so often on the flowering hedged enclosure. So peaceful. So beautiful. And I finally own lakefront property. LOL
The next evening, my husband and I sat down with a very kind gentleman who helped me plan the memorial service, from location to style, pictures, music, and of course, it will be catered! As a family, we always gather around the table for food, laughter, and family games, so the food was a must. I chose a purple urn for my ashes, yes, of course it’s purple. I want it to be beautiful. It even has a little silver to make it sparkle. I want the service and the final earthly resting place to be perfect and beautiful, a place of peace and comfort for those I love so much. I will be present with the Lord, but want them to feel free to come and sit whenever they feel a need and find peace, knowing I will be at peace.
This may seem like a very morbid blog to some but for me it is peace at Al Fine. I have done everything God has shown me to do and I give HIM all the glory for guiding my steps and giving me strength every day to complete the journey set before me. I have experienced life in a way that many never imagine. To some, my life might be boring, but for me it has been completely fulfilling and satisfying. I have no regrets. I now look forward to each day, to just loving my family and those around me. I look forward to helping when I can and being good company when I cannot. I look forward to making as many great memories as possible with those I love and spending every day with them and Jesus. I cannot control the days ahead but I love the ONE who holds all control. I have not yet reached the Al Fine in my symphony. There have been several variations along the way. Some have begun like the fugue, building quietly and suspensefully to a dramatic climax around a given situation reminiscent of a period of time early in our marriage. Some variations have been like the strings, with angels controlling the arco, introducing something new to my life like each of my children. Sometimes the entire orchestral section slows to Adagio and life settles into a slower pace for a while which is now. Wherever the Maestro chooses to take me next is perfectly fine with me for all is well.
I am now 63 and for the past almost 43 years, life has been a beautiful symphony and I cannot wait to see all the beauty ahead of me. I wrote a letter to my family that I will print off and share with them when the time is right. It is to remind them of my constant love for them and total devotion to the people they have become. No matter what, I will love them with all of my heart, forever and always!
I love you, too. Jesus loves you even more. Is HE rapping the baton to get your attention to turn towards HIM? Are you allowing HIM to orchestrate everything that HE has in store for you? If not, please turn your ear to catch the music, enjoy the cacophony of sound and enjoy the Masterful beat of HIS heart as you traverse your life-journey. HE is waiting. Live every day to the fullest and allow the Maestro to bless you to Al Fine.