Tag: Chronic Illness

they can return

they can return
in new and different ways
some of the things
thought lost

my mother and I were
closer in her old age
though we always loved
language and books

a past illness led to me
simply sitting with her
for hours as that was
something I could do

conversations
the trust that grows
through decades
of unconditional love

now sometimes
these many years
since her passing
I remember what she said
and the advice still applies

Ellen Grace Olinger

lovingkindness

Yesterday, as I was reading The Psalms, I especially noted the word lovingkindness. This morning I looked up a few examples of verses.

How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God!
therefore the children of men put their trust
under the shadow of thy wings.

Psalm 36: 7 (KJV)

Withhold not thou thy tender mercies from me, O Lord:
let thy lovingkindness and thy truth continually preserve me.

Psalm 40: 11 (KJV)

Yet the Lord will command
his lovingkindness in the daytime,
and in the night his song shall be with me,
and my prayer unto the God of my life.

Psalm 42: 8 (KJV)

Orange and Pink Roses are by Ida Waugh, and courtesy of Reusable Art.

Books

I read several books at a time. Perhaps a prayer here, a poem there. The authors I mention in this post I’ve read for some time. So sometimes, a short selection recalls a lot of content.

Here are a few examples.

be the gift let your brokenness be turned into abundance – by Ann Voskamp (2017, Zondervan).

Sea Glass: New & Selected Poems – by Luci Shaw (2016, WordFarm).

The Book of Kells – by Barbara Crooker (2019, Cascade Books).

Bathed In Prayer: Father Tim’s Prayers, Sermons, and Reflections from the Mitford Series – by Jan Karon (2018, Putnam).

Jan Karon’s novels kept me company during times of illness, grief, and recovery. Lots of joy and heart. Her new book also recalls previous work.

Always poetry – and when I cannot read, my heart is full from when I could read! When I spent a lot of time with my mother in a nursing home, someone might be sitting by a window. I know from my times, sitting by a window – every day – the heart may be overflowing with blessings, though no one else can see. The soul greater than the mind, I believe. Always hope too.

Ellen Grace Olinger

Photo by Karl – July 2018 garden journal

Gardens

Today we have rain. The sky and Lake Michigan are the same grey color. Yesterday, we walked around a few stores, as we had different errands. At The Home Depot in Kohler, the display of plants is beautiful. They have some outside, though not overnight. We enjoy how the Spring plants in stores add their beauty and fragrance in general. Sometimes we see someone we know. This is my idea of a social life. I enjoy solitude for my art, and then being a part of community in a low-key way. Not parties, or being over-tired the next day, or after a visit. A new way for health, and going well. Being sure to walk is a part of this, and Karl keeps an eye on the weather. I am grateful for friends and art with our blogs. So much in common, with friends everywhere.

Sometimes things take time, one small step, one post, at a time. New ways of being and living, to support health and work, can be learned – and then a natural part of life. I am grateful for all who help me be well, and I follow the instructions from my Care Team.

Some poems and photos from our archives:

warmer weather
on the way
God’s gift of nature
getting ready
to color the gardens

Daffodils – photo by Karl, May 2011

Red tulip and daylily leaves – May 2015

thunderstorm
and then quiet . . .
raindrops on branches
with tiny leaves
bird songs begin

Primroses – Photo by Karl, May 2010

in the backyard
birds back
and singing
never too old
to find this new

Image: wpclipart

Ellen Grace Olinger

Needlepoint and Easter Lily

Karl took these photos in 2013. I made the needlepoint picture a long time ago, and then had it framed professionally.  The kit was high quality, and the picture is from a painting by Paul Cezanne. We still enjoy the picture in our home.

I began again with needlepoint after I was blogging here for a time. To remember how, I looked at an unfinished piece by my grandmother, Grace, who died a year before I was born. My mother gave me a few of her mother’s handmade aprons. I think my art is from Grace, and my love of language is from my mother. All gifts from God.

Ellen Grace Olinger