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- Allegro Medical -
Now, of course we are still James Armstead's family...and we'll make a business out of anything! (smile) This is where we order a majority of Daddy's medical supplies. We also receive a commission from any order processed through our blog, assisting us in paying Daddy's health care bills.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The BEST "Going Away" Party...EVER!!

Remembering A Life...
Celebrating A Homegoing

James Edward Armstead
October 25, 1940 – April 20, 2012


Homegoing Service
Rev. William Betts, Officiating
Thursday, April 26, 2012 at 11:00 am
 San Francisco Christian Center
5825 Mission Street
San Francisco, California
  

And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.”
Revelation 14:13 KJV



Obituary of a Life Lived to the Fullest

James Edward Armstead, dear, daddy, grandpa, Mr. Armstead, Jim, Brother James, Uncle James, Deacon Armstead, the eldest child was born on October 25, 1940 in Texola, Oklahoma to Willie Bea Evans (Shaver) and Willie Jarely Armstead. During his formative years James lived with his mother, Evangelist Willie Bea, Grandpa Evans, several siblings and other close relatives in Texola. His mother was a very God fearing woman who believed in rigorous church attendance and would accept nothing less of her children; so he did at some point accept Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior when he was a child. He also sang in the church choir and routinely attended other church activities.

At the age of 9, he moved to San Francisco, California to live with his father Willie Jarely, step-mother Alzada, and other siblings from their union. James did attend and graduate from Poly-Tech High School in San Francisco in 1958. At the age of 19 he worked for Children’s Hospital in the cafeteria when he met the love of his life, partner and friend Opal Marie (Safford) Armstead, who also worked in the cafeteria. They were married on February 4, 1961 and remained for 51 years. From their union were born three girls; Jean Naté, June and Marna.

James was an extraordinary man, who over the course of his life accomplished many things. He was first, a son and child of the Most High (Our father) in heaven, loving husband, and father, father-in-law, doting grandfather, elder brother, brother-in-law, uncle, cousin, God-father, disciplinarian, protector bible reader, tither, history enthusiast, teacher, true friend, confidant, trustee, encourager, mentor, a man of his word, world traveler, leader, man of strong character, man of action, influencer, humorous, witty, problem solver, business associate, business client, professional salesman, a successful business man and owner until his heart attack in 2010.

James thrived on being an effective salesperson who simply loved going to visit his numerous clients on a regular basis to serve their needs. His clients genuinely adored and thought fondly of him. They will truly miss his smile and charming personality.

As with all good customer service when something doesn’t work anymore, you replace it. James replaced his failing body and made a peaceful transition to his glorified body on Friday afternoon, April 20, 2012 at St. Luke’s Hospital in San Francisco, with his loving wife Opal by his side. He was 71 years old. Heaven must be beyond our wildest dreams because he decided to go back again, this time forever.

He leaves to esteem is legacy, his wife of 51 years Opal, daughters Jean Naté, June, Marna, son-in-law Stanley, two grandchildren Nicolas and Aleja. Two aunts Doretha Sheridan, Eula Mae Howell, and Uncle Bennie Evans. Many sisters and brothers, Albert (Roberta) Shaver, Clara (Timothy) Reid, Cynthia Patterson, Flora (Skip) Taylor, Rev. Jessie G. (Felicia) Shaver, Johnnie Smith, Kennard Shaver, Lee Ethel Ellison, Lewis Smith (deceased), Lonnie (Valerie) Smith (deceased), Robert Smith (deceased), Roy Armstead (deceased), Rev. Sammie (Nannette) Shaver, Saundra Elaine Young, Truedell (George) Griffin, Virginia Armstead, Warnell Armstead (deceased). Brother & Sister-in-laws; Wilson Williams Jr. (deceased), Donnell (Jennifer) Safford, Minister Enoch (Mary) Williams, Pamela (Pastor Jewell) Ruffin, Bruce Williams, Verla Williams, Carol (Minister Ray) Jackson, Barbara Williams, Linda Lee, Marilyn (David) Pearson, Carl Safford, Myrl (Commie) Gilbert, and Valeria (Ronnie) Knighton. He also leaves a host of cousins, nieces, nephews, and wonderful friends.


A Letter to My Husband

When we first met, November 1959, I was thankful for your friendship, it seemed as though we had known each other all of our lives, for we shared many of the same thoughts and dreams.
Our backgrounds were very much alike. So you became my friend, defender, and confidant. Unknown to us, that this was a “set up” ordained by God. Even if we had gone on different paths we would have some how still been connected.

Over the years, you have been not only my husband for 51 years, but you have adequately loved and provided for me and our children and grandchildren, never causing us a moment of concern as to whether we would survive or not, and for this I am forever grateful.
You have always been a very responsible and persistent person and a relentless businessman, who sought after your goals and set a pace to achieve them.

Our lives have not been perfect, but out growing pains have been positive. Years ago when you first shared your aspirations with me I was uncertain, but as time passed I learned more and more how important obligations were to you personally and in your business affairs.
I have been very proud to be your wife and the mother and grandmother of your children. For you have blazed a trail which may not appear to have much light, but that small flicker has caused a lot of heat to warm many.

Your Wife, Who Will Always Love You,
Opal M. Armstead


 ~~~~~~~~~~~~


Order of Service

Processional

 The Family’s Parting View

 Musical Selection
San Francisco Christian Center

Opening Prayer

Scripture Reading
Old Testament Scripture: Psalm 23
 New Testament Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

Musical Selection
San Francisco Christian Center

Words From James Armstead’s Family
Jean Nate' and Aleja (speeches below)

Obituary Reading

Remarks from Ministers
Ministers In Charge

Musical Selection:
 Sis Pamela Ruffin

Words of Encouragement
Rev. Roderick Gittens, Senior Pastor

Recessional


 ~~~~~~~~~~~~


The Armstead Family Would like to Thank
the Duggan/Welch Funeral Home
3434 - 17th Street in San Francisco

San Francisco Christian Center
5825 Mission Street in San Francisco

Interment at Olivet Cemetery Colma, CA
Repast Held at San Francisco Christian Center


Active Pallbearers
Albert Shaver
Rev. Jessie G. Shaver
Kennard Shaver
Rev. Sammie Shaver
Johnnie Smith
 
Honorary Pallbearers
Willie Austin
Alex Jenkins
Charles Jones
Donnell Safford
Richard Sullivan
Bruce Williams
Minister Enoch Williams


~~~~~~~~~~~


Now we do not want you to be ignorant, brothers, concerning those who have fallen asleep, so that you will not grieve as the rest, who have no hope.

For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, thus also God will bring those who have fallen asleep through Jesus together with him.

For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who remain until the Lord’s coming, will not possibly precede those who have fallen asleep.

For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout of command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.

Then we who are alive, who remain, will be caught up at the same time together with them in the clouds for a meeting with the Lord in the air, and thus we will be together with the Lord always.
Therefore comfort one another with these words.”
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 LEB



To All of Our Friends, Family & Loved Ones
We Cannot Thank You Enough for the
Words of Encouragement, Love & Support Given to us While Caring
 for James & During Our Time of Bereavement


___________________________



By Aleja (Granddaughter)

MY GRANDPA SPEECH

I love my grandfather dearly, I always will.  When a loved one dies, they are never really dead.  They are actually just in a new life.  Like a wise woman told me, it is like moving to a new school or a new city and a new life will begin by meeting your father, your HEAVENLY father.
I remember that my grandfather was a very independent and strong-willed man, I admired that about him.  If he wanted to do something, all he had to do was set his mind to it and he could do anything. In his ill-state doctors said, he would not be able to speak for a really long time, but he proved them wrong: he talked to a nurse with a trake in his throat.  If that is not a miracle, I do not know what is.
My grandpa always had a soft spot for me.  He would always find a way to make me happy.  At the office, he would sneak me a candy: SEE’S Nuts and Chews. I know many of you have a family member like that; sneak you a candy when no one was looking.  Well grandpa was like that for me.
I love my grandpa very much and I know you all love him too.  I have many memories I would like to tell you about, but I do not have time.  I wish you all the best.  I wish my grandpa was here now, but sadly, he is not. The one thing I miss about him is his hugs.  Someday I will hug him again, but this time, he will be able to hug me back.


By:  Jean Nate Thomas (Eldest Daughter)

I was talking with my god-sister the other day about our family infrastructure and how we are so blessed to be raised with parents who were concerned about our success. My father and mother had a group of friends who were all married about the same time; now   all should be reaching their 51st wedding anniversaries this year.
This special group in their late teens, early twenties became a village of kindred mindsets and how they would raise their children to be different from the rest. Today, this mindset unfortunately rarely exists in the African-American community.  These husbands and wives, fathers and mothers set the pace for how their children would standout.
Today, I am proud to say that I am one of those children who experienced the benefits of their efforts.
My father was one of those individuals who made sure that the legacy he was trying to establish; did leave a lasting impression.  My father exposed us girls to everything, good schools, money, and foods from various cultures, business, entrepreneurial task, character, integrity, discipline, the bible, and strong family ties.
He later realized that no matter what he did to be successful in life or business and to exemplify  success to his family; the only true success is knowing and accepting Jesus Christ our your personal Lord and Savior. We knew how much he loved us because he was always teaching us something, discussing or debating scripture with us. The debates never lasted very long because he knew his daughters were strong believers too.
My father’s legacy was to go do what you have been gifted to do and do not forget to honor the Lord in it.

To: Marna (Youngest Daughter) - You understood daddy’s business venerability and you set out to correct the areas that were lacking.  You have everything you need to maintain the business that daddy established because he sowed that seed in you. You know how to move the company in the right direction for this century.  Your decisions are right, so do not second-guess yourself.

To: June (Middle Daughter) - You have daddy’s mindset for business and no-nonsense approach, I am proud of you and so was he. Move your salon to the next level; expand.

To: Nick (Grandson) - You are branded like me for responsibility and leadership.  Do not be reluctant in your calling be the leader grandpa knew you would be. As you are almost finishing college, go out and be that strong and Godly leader your generation is looking for.

To: Aleja (Granddaughter) - There is no fear in the Armstead household.  Grandpa was not afraid to do or try something.  He made sure you were secure in who you are. You are braver and stronger than you realize. You just have to exercise that gift.

To: Stanley (Son-in-Law) - You and my father were in cahoots on some things so that promise you both made to each other; my dad is counting on you to hold your end up because he was a man of his work and a good judge of character.

To: Mommy (Wife) - I realize you not only lost your husband, but your best friend and confident. Just realize that you have other family members and friends who are here to support you. In addition, great is your reward for your faithfulness to daddy from the beginning to the end.  God will honor you; He has not forgotten.
I guess I can say that I truly understood my father’s heart and love for us and to everyone that he touched because he did preach the good news of the kingdom.
 I have a charge for all of the family, friends, business associates present here today;   if my father has ever said anything to you that was impactful and helped you in some way; he meant it and if you have not taken his advice, consider it again; especially about accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Funeral-Homegoing Services for James Edward Armstead


The Armstead Family thanks you for your prayers and condolences during this time. 
Daddy went home to be with the Lord very peacefully last Friday afternoon while his wife of 51 years (Opal) held his hand--along with a other loved ones at his bedside. God is so merciful and definitely GOOD

I (June) will update this blog with our family's journey over the past year with Daddy and keep you posted on how we are doing embarking upon this new chapter in our lives.

Funeral-Homegoing Services for James Edward Armstead
(October 25, 1940 - April 20, 2012)

*Viewing:*
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
2:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Duggans Welch Funeral Service
3434 17th St.
San Francisco, CA  94110
415.431.4900

Homegoing Celebration:
Thursday, April 26, 2012
*10:00 - 11:00 AM Viewing*
11:00 AM Homegoing Service
San Francisco Christian Center
5825 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA  94112
415.584.5515

Condolences:
The Armstead Family
c/o New West Business Forms/Little City Press
Po Box 24110
San Francisco, CA 94124
415.822.6225

Monday, May 9, 2011

Does anyone remember Michigan J?

So it has been almost six months since my our last entry. Dare I apologize?

Anyway, again we have had our ups and downs within our household. Sometimes being frustrated with each other, Daddy, medical insurance and the likes. Although our schedule is much better, it is still sometimes difficult because we are so exhausted some days. But there are other days we feel as if we can conquer the world through Christ.

So far, we have had a few therapy sessions in which Daddy did not participate AT ALL! I think we get more out of him when we try and do it ourselves. :-/

One day, the speech therapist came after months of my mom trying to obtain an appointment. Now, it is hilarious as I think back on it. But at the time, my mom was fuming! Hahaha! Yes, I guess you can hardly imagine Opal Armstead being any kind of upset. But ooooh was she!

Well, the therapist came tried to do some sort of evaluation, but Daddy would not open his mouth! Ha! He said absolutely nothing. Nada--not one word. My mom said she felt so foolish trying to convince the therapist that Daddy, does indeed talk....sing, laugh, etc.

OMGsh! I could only imagine how foolish she must have felt, as well as appeared. Now, I must tell you this has happened twice! The second time was a surprise visit. Marna even tried to record him to prove it. The therapist told us that he actually needed to see and hear Daddy speak to analyze his swallowing and movement of tongue. So after he spent almost 30 minutes with Daddy trying to make him, rather waiting for him to speak, he had to leave. My mom said, it wasn't even two minutes after leaving our home, Nuk came in the room and started chit-chatting with her Grandpa as they always do, and you know what happened, right? Yes, James Armstead was just-a talkin' and blowin' kisses back and forth between he and his baby. Unbelievable!!

So now you know my why Mommy was furious. Lol! When I came home from work, she told me the story. She said that she is DONE! She said that she is not going to force the issue, push it, or try and make him do anything. Because Daddy obviously is going to do what he wants to do--when he wants to do it. Well, I don't think this is anything new for James Armstead. Oh well.

In the meantime, I have been calling him "Michigan J-ames". Does anyone remember him? The singing frog? Well, I was a Looney-Toones fanatic as a child. I LOVED cartoons--still do! To give you an idea of what it has been like. I have attached the cartoon below.




Oh yes, by the way, I hope you all had a wonderful Mother's Day!

--June

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Wow!

Hello Everyone!

Yes, it has been over a month. Ooops!

Well, Marna and I have been playing the "tag...you're it!" blogger game. Hahaha!

Sigh. Our schedules still are kind of out of sorts. But we are working hard running our individual businesses, as well as Daddy's company, trying to take care of Daddy, do what we need to do in our personal lives and keep sane all at the same time. There are not enough hours in the day to complete all that needs to be done. What is a family suppose to do?


Anyway, here are some quick updates:
  1. Daddy did one more run the the ER a couple of weeks ago. He actually indicated that his chest was hurting and wanted us to call 911. Of course we did immediately. I remember requesting, if at all possible, they not turn on the sirens. Lol! I don't think our block could handle another James Armstead wake up call of fire trucks and ambulances. The doctors ran all sorts of tests and scans and found absolutely nothing wrong. They resolved to send him back home some hours later.
  2. The doctor lowered the dosage of some medications and two days later he became more alert. He actually started laughing one day! It was hilarious. He was truly tickled pink and could hardly stop. My mom and I were shocked! Since that time, he has laughed and chuckled several times at comments made or just observing us interacting with each other.
  3. He is not as feisty as he had been before, which is good. He is more mellow. Thank God!
  4. The diaper changing situation is so much better. We have a schedule and system that works. Yay! (finally) We even have become faster in the process. Amen!
  5. I still have the 3:00 AM schedule to help my mom change him. But we don't start his tube feeding until 7:00 AM now. The doctor wants us to try to get him back on a normal eating schedule.
  6. Marna has been giving him physical therapy while we play the insurance game waiting for professional therapy. She has been able to attach his hands to the trapeze bar above his hospital bed. We also play tug-of-war with a sheet we put big knots in. I massage his face and jaws each day with anointing oil. A few days later, he tried to open his mouth and speak. I must say, Miss Aleja (Nuk) can get him to try and speak anytime she pleases. (rolling eyes) She's his Sweet Little Baby Girl so he'll say anything for her. Lol! He also tried to repeat his ABC's with John (one of our CNA's).
  7. We are constantly checking his memory by informing him of when someone, whether it's a customer of his, family member, friend, etc. asks about his progress to see if he remembers who we are referring to. YES, he remembers all who have asked about him. Isn't that wonderful!?!
  8. He fusses and grunts at the television (that he can't see) when something disagrees with him. He has always liked listening to Christian debates on the radio. So when a show on Christian television comes on called Town Hall (or something of that nature) he wants everyone to be quiet so he can listen intently. As soon as they say something that is unbiblical or disagrees with him, you can hear his displeasure. Hahaha! That is when I say, "Daddy, you don't like what he said?" Then he quickly retorts back with his mouth closed, "Uh-uh!" while shaking his head. I have to laugh at him, and then silence myself, 'cause he still wants to hear without any interruptions. He is funny.
  9. The night before last, we were watching/listening to TBN ( links below). They had two men give their testimony of going to heaven and hell then being sent back to earth to tell the story. When the one told his testimony about heaven, I asked Daddy if he was familar with what the man described and did he experience the same things? Hmmm? Lets just say, James Armstead has MUCH to share with all of us!
Friday Jan 28, 2011 - Jan Crouch hosts Dwight Thompson, Bill Wiess, Don Piper, HLE Cast & Singers in Orlando, FL. - (Video: 56k  100k  300k)
So far, these are most of  the imporant updates I wanted to share with you. Please continue to pray for us and for our strength while continuing this labor or love for Daddy.

--June

Sunday, December 5, 2010

What We've Been Doing So Far

It seems as if each time I have to apologize for not updating the blog sooner. I apologize. We have been so busy with taking care of Daddy.

First, I need to make you aware, that he did go back into the hospital Monday night, the week before Thanksgiving. Sigh. I returned from church that night only to arrive a block away from our home---seeing flashing lights. I slowly drove closer to our house thinking, "If I see our lights on and our gate open, I know this is for us." As I got closer, I saw a fireman run out of our door! "Oh God, what now!?!" I called my mom from my cell phone because I couldn't come any closer. The fire trucks were blocking the street. When my mom finally answered the phone, I just asked, "Do I EVEN want to know?" She called 911 because his breathing sounded funny and labored, which made her nervous.

I finally was able to park the car and get into the house. They had taken Daddy's vitals and everything appeared okay. They debated somewhat back and forth if they should take him. Finally, they asked Daddy and he nodded his head indicating he wanted to go the the hospital. Well, we agreed! If he wants to go, then please take him.

After taking various test in the ER, the doctors found out that Daddy, did in fact, have another heart attack! Yes, you read correctly! We were so distressed and somewhat shocked. I think that is when I resolved to really, truly, honest to God give all of this matter over to HIM. I thought I had, but somehow I picked up all the worry, care and concern again. I realize if I don't lay this whole situation at the Lord's alter, I will be a complete basket case! The enemy would just love for our family to completely lose our minds! God forbid!

Anyway, Daddy stayed there a little less than a week--five days to be exact, then he was back home that following Saturday. While he was in the hospital, we were not able to visit him everyday like we had before, which made us a little upset. But at the same time, we were pooped! None of us had the energy or mindset to do so. Taking care of Daddy at home had taken a toll on us. We were so exhausted and frustrated. Daddy was mean acting and irritable. And for someone who could not talk, he sure was able to say the phrases, "Shut-up!" "This is stupid!" "Leave me alone!" and the word "NO!" We were in amazement of the words he was able to express even though they were not nice. :-|

Anyway, he would fight us brushing his teeth, changing his diaper, wiping his face, etc. I mean everything we tried to do for him, was a fight! Goodness! Well, five days after his Seton Hospital stay, he seemed more mellow and cooperative. Not sure what all happened during his stay, but it obviously was good for him and us as well. Maybe God used that time to whip him into shape and give us a breather because when he arrived back home, we were ready for him--attitude and all! Hey ol' man, you're not gonna push us 'round! We still have to take care of  you. It's showdown time! Lol!
In the meantime, Thanksgiving was good. He prayed over and blessed our food even though he is not able to eat. We asked him if he wanted to pray and he nodded his head and mumbled a few words and moved his lips as we all stood around his bed holding hands. Good enough. 

Oh, I wanted to publicly thank Pastor Leversie Johnson and Ms. Ruth Jackson (Nicolas' grandma) for preparing our entire Thanksgiving dinner. Thank you, thank you and thank you again! We appreciate everyone who has, still is and will continue to do whatever the Lord places on your heart for our family. It will NEVER be forgotten. God bless you abundantly!

Well, tonight I massaged his hands and feet with a generic version of Icy-Hot and baby oil from my favorite 99 cent store. Lol! We have been waiting for approval from his insurance for hand braces or splints. This has been an ongoing battle. I took it upon myself to purchase braces from Walgreens and jerry-rig pieces to slide within to help keep his hands and fingers straight. If we continue to just wait for his insurance, Daddy will be a crinkled up ball! We shall see how it goes. So far, I was able to put the braces on his hands, which was quite a challenge because everything is so tight, sore and stiff. But we are hopeful.

It is getting late. I better get to bed. :-)

--June

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A Pair of Extra Male Hands?

Okay. So far, everything is somewhat running smoothly. We are a bit tired, but trying to do our best. It has been a complete week since Daddy has come home. He is doing better in his therapy sessions and hopefully, they will continue if he is approved for more days. This all depends on his progress reports. The home care has really been great! We are able to work, etc. while he is taken care of  for about five hours a day.

But this is our dilemma: The diaper changing situation. Nicolas works and goes to school, so he is not always available during the hours we need him. My uncle, Pastor Jewell is not available during the weekends, but he has been able to help sometimes throughout the weekday. Unfortunately, sometimes Daddy has to wait to be changed because we don't have the help, which is NOT good.

My Plea: If there are any male family members and/or friends who are available to help roll Daddy back and forth (it takes about 20 minutes) while my mom changes him, it would be sooooooooooo appreciated and a stress off our minds. This is mostly needed in the evenings during the week before we all retire for bed and a few times of day during the weekend. If the Lord leads you, please contact my mom. Thank you. Bless you! :-D

--June

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

We're Doing Much Better Now

I will blog briefly, then I must get to sleep because I have the 3:00 AM "Daddy-Watch". ;-)

Home care worked for the first time today. It was a BIG relief! They came in at 9:30 AM and stayed until 2:30 PM. She (Lydia) changed him, bathed him, lotioned him down, brushed his teeth, combed his hair, added more formula to his tube feeding, flushed him (giving 200 ml of water through the tube feeding), repositioned him, checked his blood pressure, and temperature throughout the day, and changed him again before my mom arrived home.

All I had to do was administer his medications and flush him again when I arrived home at 5 PM. Marna gives his morning medications with insulin around 9 AM and evening medication at 9 PM. I refill and restart his tube feeding for the day at 3AM in the morning. With our new and improved "The Armstead Household Way" schedule, we should have him completely fed and changed him for the final time each day no later than 10 PM. This will work for us. That way, we can ALL sleep throughout the night. I am an early riser anyway, so the 3:00 AM shift is perfect for me! That is usually when my alarm goes off anyway. I had to make just a few minor adjustments to include Daddy in my schedule, but I'm good! The 5 pm shift is for whoever is home, between Marna and I. Sometimes she has to work late, and I take it or vice versa. As for my mom, well, we have to work with her regarding the medications. Over the weekend, she tried to give him the 35 ml of insulin. Some spilled out of his skin, she freaked out because she was not sure if it would hold him the rest of the day. So she continued pricking his finger every 3 to 4 hours all day to make sure his blood sugar reading stayed within the proper range. Lol! She has much on her mind, so Marna made sure all Mommy has to do is change him once or twice a day with Nicolas or with my Uncle Jewel and check his vitals (blood sugar, blood pressure and temperature). Mommy is satisfied with that! We will retrain her once things have calmed down and she is not so nervous about everything. Hahaha!

But I must say, our past weekend was filled with many, many tears, uncertainty, prayer, discouragement, doubtfulness, disappointment in ourselves, etc. You name it! As excited as we were for Daddy to come home, it turned out to be a horrible weekend physically and emotionally. Per my previous post.

Monday started out very hopeful. We had somewhat of an interview with an agency for in home care referred by the facility (Pacifica Nursing & Rehab Center) Daddy was in the past 3 months. They were very friendly and kind. It was very similar to the treatment we received in Pacifica at the rehab. By the way, our family must share how absolutely wonderful the Pacifica Nursing & Rehab Center is in a later blog post. Goooo Pacifica!! They took VERY good care of Daddy during his stay.

Anyway, the in home care agency came (about 7 people) to our home yesterday, to meet us, assess the situation, see which one of them would be a perfect fit and stayed almost an hour. We were very pleased with the manner in which they handled things. It just felt right for all of us. Thank you, Lord. Needless to say, they started the next day (today). So far, we are very please with the work done today. Most of all, Daddy was pleased. Lol! And that is saying a lot because James Armstead can be quite the critic. It was a relief and a stress was lifted. We all went to work and/or school feeling very comfortable with leaving the help in our home and most of all, in complete charge of Daddy. :-)

Lord, thank you. You always have a ram in the bush. God is an excellent provider!

--June

Monday, November 1, 2010

The First 24 Hours

Well, what can I say? Daddy needs a lot of care--24hr care.

How we will handle this, I have no clue. We are already exhausted and have had little to no sleep. This was just the weekend, not a regular work day. Maybe this was the Lord's way of giving us what we wanted, but also showing us there is a much, much more involved than we had anticipated.

Lord, we surrender. Instruct us as to what to do.

We have an interview with an in home care agency tomorrow morning. We informed them that we need someone ASAP. Although, what we asked for is care during our work hours, we still have the night to consider.

He got very, very, very, extremely angry with me trying to help my mom change him. She made sure she kept him "covered" and all I had to do was roll him over side to side. About the third or fourth time with us doing this in the early hours of the morning (around 1:30 AM , I believe 3:00 AM and or 6:00 AM) he was fed up and very irate. We finally figured out what he was saying or at least trying to convey. He does not want or will not let ME (June), help my mom in that capacity:
 Leviticus 18:6-7 (King James Version): None of you shall approach to any that is near of kin to him, to uncover their nakedness: I am the LORD. The nakedness of thy father, or the nakedness of thy mother, shalt thou not uncover: she is thy mother; thou shalt not uncover her nakedness.
This is the only scripture I was able to find tonight, but there are a few of them them with the same tone. I remember him teaching on these types of scriptures. And when I spoke with him, this is what he is having a serious problem with.

I am sure there are some that think this is totally foolish, but I, on the other hand, totally respect my father, his beliefs and wishes. The truth is, yes, this is quite biblical. Granted, we don't have anyone else (male) to help my mom except Nick who works and goes to school. So much for having a house full of daughters. :-/ We are at a loss as to what to do and how to handle this matter. He finally agreed to allow Nick to help my mom. So that is how it is for tonight/this morning. Sigh.

We have a schedule of medication to administer as well as his tube feeding. We have to check his blood sugar, blood pressure and temperature every couple of hours, etc. He ran a slight temperature today and we had to ask my Aunt Elaine to run to the store for Tylenol because we couldn't leave the house. So yes, this is definitely an additional full time job. A job I am not sure we are able to handle ourselves. The schedule maybe too intense for our working family. I also don't want us to be so exhausted, we make mistakes administering his medication and so forth.

Jean, my sister in Virginia, said she will research and review all he may qualify for, as well as resources and/or agencies that could be of assistance for families in this predicament. I'll be the first to say, we need help. :-(  I also think we are "too close" to the situation because it is our daddy/grandfather/husband, so we are highly emotional.

Please don't hesitate in contacting us if you know of any resources or anything you think we may not be aware of. Then, I can forward any information to Jean. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you so much.

--June

Monday, October 25, 2010

Happy Birthday Daddy!

As I mentioned in this morning's post, today is Daddy's 70th birthday. Well we just returned from a visit at the rehab and guess what we found out?

DADDY COMES 
HOME SATURDAY!

Yaaay! Wooo-Hooo!

Yes, it was a shock to us too. We have so much to do and so little time to do it. We thought we had a couple of weeks, but now we only have a couple of days. We haven't seen him smile in a very long time. But today, he was smiling the best he knew how. :-))

This morning I was watching Joel Osteen and he preached on being open to the way God will do things, and not how we expect Him to do it. As my mom and I drove to visit Daddy this evening, I shared with her what the message was about. LOL! I love the way God always seems to prep me for what He is about to do, usually within the very same day, if not the next. Hahahaha! I have learned that I am NEVER really ever prepared in the natural sense, but I AM learning how to be open, more like preparing my heart for whatever God decides to throw my way. Hahaha! Maybe that is what He really means by "preparation"--to just have your heart open. Be it unto me (us), Lord according to YOUR will!

--June

Sigh

 Not sure where to begin...

Well, today is Daddy's birthday. He is 70 years old. We all wondered what we would do or how we would celebrate? Would he remember and would we tell him if he didn't? I think we, at least I, feel numb.

Daddy is to come home in a few weeks. My mom is really working hard trying to prepare the house. It has to pass inspection before they will release him to us. We will have to put the hospital bed in the living room because it is the only place it fits.

We are not certain how we will accomplish this task of taking care of him, but with God's grace it will be done. That is what we hold on to--God's strength and power, not our own.

We are all very tired and have been stressed out with all that needs taking care of and other issues that have seem to just POP UP. I for one, have had my share of "situations" that have been out of control and FAR beyond my control. But I dare not complain or accuse God falsely.

My mom has visited Daddy everyday since May 13th...until the day I ended up in the ER. Mommy met me there at the hospital so she wasn't able to visit Daddy. Sigh. Hypertension being the culprit. I don't have a history of it, but with all that has happened and what I am going through, my blood pressure jumped from always being extremely low to an all time-over the top high! Yes, high enough to be in the ER. I guess the 75 pounds I have gained and not walking as regularly as I did before has not helped. :-| Well, all that to say, I was prescribed 3 different medications and have to check my pressure 3 times a day. Ugh!!!

My doctor said because I don't have a history of it at my age, if I lose the weight, get back to my physical activity/exercising, etc. she is sure she can wean me off. Thank you and Lord have mercy. But in the meantime, I take little to no phone calls, unless it's an emergency, cut down the amount of clients I take each day, leave work at an appropriate time, have a designated lunch break to actually LEAVE the salon, exercise at home in the morning, cut down my food portions, went back to a vegetarian diet (because that is when my weight was under control and I felt my healthiest ever in life), try to enjoy life a little bit more, stay away from stressful situations as well as people, spending more time reading and trying really, really hard to relax. The last thing I want is to be laid up right next to my daddy. No, thank you!

I am learning to do what I must, accomplish what I can and leave the rest alone. I will spend more time doing what I enjoy and what calms me. So back to sitting at home alone, listening to soothing music, making waist beads, cutting out hair photos, fantasizing about clothing while browsing through catalogs and yes, crocheting. Lol! And finally, I'm buying an outdoor bike for Christmas! Yes, Merry Christmas to ME!! Just had to vent. Pardon.

Okay, so enough about me. As for Daddy, these are most of the questions that arise, so I will take this time to answer them. Also, I hope this will help with those who are continuing to pray for his recovery. Consider the following "prayer targets".

1) He is not ambulatory. He can do absolutely nothing for himself.
2) He is still not able to talk. Sometimes, it sounds as if he is grunting here and there.
3) He does nod his head "yes" and and shake his head "no", but only when he feels like it.
4) Sometimes he remembers people and other days he does not--us included.
5) He was getting so upset, aggressive and sometimes slightly violent, that we had to decide as a family to put him on anti-depressants until we were all able to handle him a little better--rehab staff included. None of this was suggested by the facility, this was our doing. We didn't want him roughing up the cute little nurses there. Hahaha! The last thing we needed is for him to appear to be some big, tall, violent, mute, intimidating black man, whose hair hasn't been combed in 5 months, swinging at anyone! Geez! We already begged the doctor to remove the "boxing mitts" they had on him 24/7. Let him not ruin what we worked so hard for. :-/
6) Yes, he is still being tube fed. We have to learn how to work the machinery. The facility said they would give us lessons.
7) I guess Marna and Mommy will continue to brush his teeth. I'm sure they will teach me.
8) I read the Sunday School lesson to him, but some Sundays he is just not interested in hearing what it has to say--including us.
9) No, he is not able to use the plastic urinal--still adult diapers.
10) He remembers some things and some people. But can't remember key things and key people. For instance, he remembers nothing about his business, the building, not event the name. But somehow remembers Third Street. He remembers my salon, and Marna's baking business, but does not remember downtown San Francisco. He does not remember our home, our street or the neighborhood, but he does remember our noisy staircase. (shrugging shoulders) He does not remember the orange car he drives, but remembers the green SUV, which I am driving now and his SUV that Marna drives. He doesn't remember his spices, "his" kitchen, or that he even use to cook...like everything under the sun! He doesn't even remember teaching Sunday School! Wow. 

I played this game with him: everything that he didn't remember, I would just start describing in full detail to him. I remember that Sunday, it was fun, at least to me. He listened intently and seemed surprised by some of the things I told him he use to do. It also made me realize how much my daddy did and did for us (his family). I'm am just glad memories are not the only thing I have. :-) I still have my daddy...AND the memories. I look forward to what God will do in our lives and the new beginning God has given Daddy (and us). We are just starting from scratch. That's all.

Oh yeah, one more thing and I will end with this: After playing this game with Daddy and realizing there is so much that is a complete blank to him (that is the day I realized he did not know who I was), I had to tell him my name and which child I was, then going on to who Marna and Jean were as well. Being a little nervous, I just thought I would ask if he was still praying? Rather, did he still remember HOW to pray? He gave me this look as if, "Yeah, girl! I still pray!" Lol! So, I wasn't satisfied with that. I continued with, "Daddy...ummm, now you still remember...well, you know who God is, riiight?" Hahaha! He gave me a look as if, "Whose this crazy woman who keeps asking me all these dumb questions?" and nodded his head. To that, I gave a sigh of relief, patted him on his shoulder and said, "Okay good, that is all I needed to know because as long as you remember who HE is, 'cause everything and everybody else is truly secondary. You gonna be all right if you just remember HIM. HE's all you need anyhow." At that, I gathered my things, told him I loved him and headed on back home completely satisfied.

--June

Monday, August 30, 2010

Well...

So my dad has had three weeks into therapy and at first hadn't seen much progress. Then one day June said she went to see him and was wiping his face and realized that he wanted to help her wipe his face and he let him guide her hand over his face to wipe it with the towel.
PROGRESS!
So I started going to his therapy sessions. Last week was my first week.I went up there twice. I asked him if he'd help me help him brush his teeth. He kind of fought me at first but kinda gave in towards the end and let me guide his hands up to his mouth with the toothbrush. I spoke to him told him i loved him and he had to cooperate and participate. The therapists were impressed with the progress made. :)
They asked me if I'd come again since he responded so well to me. of course i would. and when i came back i prayed over him told him i loved him and brought his glasses. i realized after a few tests that if he could see well enough he could read. he said he could. :)
Soon the therapist came in and we started with the toothbrush. i put it in his hand and guided his hand up to his face and mouth and after a little bit of time he started to make the quick tooth brushing movements! he even tried to bend his hand the other way to get the other side of his teeth... unfortunately he wasn't quite brushing his teeth... LOL but he was trying and understood the command and did it. my mom sits with him and they go over different body parts on her arm, knuckles, fingers, elbows, arms, and he can identify and touch each one on command.
My take is that he's completely frustrated and tired of this "hospital deal" he wants to go home. i think sometimes he's scared this is as good as it's gonna get for him sometimes. i also think that  he's been a little bit traumatized by all that's happened to him. he's not realizing the odds he's beating everyday. not to mention he's VERY STUBBORN! (i see to the extreme of where i get that from--lol) i just pray he will continue to submit himself to the process of recovery. he's been so active and so independent all his days and so this is really sucking for him i'm sure.
I actually feel better helping him and supporting him in therapy. i feel more useful and productive when i am there than just a visit. no that i don't want to just visit, but sometimes just sitting there looking at him s NOT helpful for me. and finally i am starting to feel at peace with everything. like internally. i don;t feel the inner turmoil i had at first. not granted i want everything back to normal i want my daddy better and at home, but in the meant time in this waiting process i am don't feel the same level of distress as i had felt before.
externally i (and the whole family) are very tired. the house is a mess (now granted i was never really much of  a neat freak) but there's hardly enough time in the day to clean. we all work all day come home and scrounge up something to eat and pretty much all retire to our beds/rooms to relax sometimes its like come home and relax? or, come home an do more work like cleaning, washing clothes, doing dishes, and many times relaxing wins out so we stumble around through the house cleaning when and where we can when we have the energy, but really we all need and extended vacation. this has been a grueling process, but the Lord has made sure we've had the energy. Because this is impossible. We go 7 days a week at least 14 hours nonstop coupled by being mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically involved in all aspects of everything. it just takes a lot. A LOT! and to be honest just our day to day life is very hectic and busy even without this situation going on, so imagine it now! so forgive us for slacking on the blog etc. we are trying and this is going into month 3! ugh! to be honest... just UGH! but we are keeping it moving! we are Armsteads lol. keep us in your prayers

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

What can I say?

We have been so emotionally and physically drained. I know our blogging has been few and far between. I think the duration of this all has been wearing on us. At least, I will speak for myself.

Over the past few weeks, I have had many crying spells wanting things to just go back to normal. But I understand nothing will ever be the same again. I remember one Sunday afternoon visiting Daddy while he was still at St. Francis. All I could do was just hold his hand and pray over him. He was trying to say some things and I could not understand what he was saying...somewhat as usual. But I could see the hurt in his eyes and I in turn, was hurt for him. I think that was the day I started crying while driving home and it has been that way ever since. Or finally getting home and being terribly irritated if not already crying.

The running down the staircase thing still bothers me terribly. One night, Pico came home from work and after eating upstairs in the kitchen, he ran back down the stairs. I remember jumping out of my sleep, my heart beating rapidly and I just started to cry. It's like flashbacks. Last week, Nuk somehow got something in her eye and it was stinging. Screaming at the top of her lungs (I could hear it through the floors downstairs) and running to Marna. This all made me fly out of my room to the bottom of the staircase yelling and screaming upstairs, "WHAT IS WRONG?!? WHAT HAPPENED!?! GIRL, WHY ARE YOU SCREAMING!?!?" Again, flashbacks. My heart was racing...and of course, I started to cry. When will the trauma end?

Our schedules are sporadic, and we are just drained. We are taking turns going to the hospital, but it takes so much out of you. Especially, when Daddy does not respond the way you would like him too. Some days are better than others for him. Sometimes we arrive only to find out he didn't really participate or cooperate in his therapy sessions. That is always disheartening. We want him to get use to being up and alert, which is not always the case.

We are trying hard to keep positive and upbeat, watching we say or what we are confessing over him and ourselves. We don't want to fight against or delay what God has already spoken over Daddy.

I have days when I am a fireball praying and confessing the specific promises over our family and then I have days when I just want to crawl under a rock, give up and tell everyone to GO AWAY...please. Lol! Isnt' that just terrible? Hmmm? Maybe not. I guess it just makes me human.

Today, when my mom and I visited he didn't respond so much. The weather was so hot and he was uncomfortable. I asked my mom if he had an extra pairs of socks. I know how much I don't like socks while in bed, so I could only imagine how uncomfortable he was. I took a pair to the nurses station and asked if they had a pair of scissors I could borrow. Lol! I politely, cut the toes off the socks, handed the scissors back to the receptionist at the desk and said, "Thank you" with a smile. The tricky part was removing his heel protection boots and old socks. He is so tender, sore and stiff that I didn't want to hurt him by moving his legs too much. But I knew that if I removed the regular socks and replaced them with the ones I just cut so his toes would hang out, he would feel much cooler. Well it worked, with not too much aggravation to his legs. After wards, I asked if he felt better or at least a little cooler. He nodded his head in agreement and went back to sleep. But my mom and I could tell it was more of a peaceful sleep. So much so, he started to snore. :-)

Okay, so I confess: I still cried when I finally was at home.

--June

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Update! Finally

okay so we know we have lagged on the updated with my dad. I really didn't realize how many people were keeping up and reading this on a regular basis. For the last almost month we have been running back and forth still visiting my dad in the hospital. He has made it miraculously through this septic infection and is doing much better. In fact, they have just transferred him on Monday 8/9/2010 to a skilled nursing and rehab facility. Thankfully it's not too far away either maybe take us no more than 20 minutes to get to him (and its a WAAAAAAAY less stressful car trip than trying to go down town San Francisco everyday. But even then, God is good because the hospital they placed him was very close to us, and we managed to find parking less than a block away the ENTIRE TIME!
So now he is in a skilled nursing facility where the major point is going to be to get him physical, occupational, and speech therapy. We are waiting on the results of his evaluation and plan of action. I plan to sit in on some of his therapy sessions so I can see what they are doing. Overall we are pleased with the news facility, its very neat and clean and that staff is very nice. We've spoken to several people who were either patients themselves or had loved ones in the facility and they have nothing but good things to say about the place.
Also he is able to once again have visitors. For a time at the hospital we had to restrict the visitor for two reasons. #1, in the beginning of the infection (the worst part) he was very alert and the nursing staff were working hard to keep his vitals stable, because whenever anyone went in his heart rate, blood pressure etc, went hay wire and they wanted him to just be calm and get better. Then we had to worry about how contagious the infection was. We didn't want anyone to get anything and the doctors and nurses did not want to risk possibilities of corss contamination with patients especially when he was in ICU.
At any rate he is MUCH BETTER, so those of you that want to visit please contact us by cell phone (if you have it) or by email, or at work. Please call beforehand so we can verify where he is at. DO NOT ASSUME! So many of our family and friends have gone to the wrong places because they have moved him around so much. So PLEASE verify BEFORE you try to go and visit him. And we want him to have visitors, we want him to see everyone is concerned about him getting better, and it will lift his spirits.
I think that he has had ups and downs emotionally (to say the least) and to see people (even if he can't remember everyone all the time) will make him feel much better. I think the most best part of this whole thing (in addition of course to the MIRACLES) has to been to see and hear all the outpouring of concern for my dad.
For me (Marna) at times it has been very frustrating. I simply want my dad back to normal. And I have to fight and pray about being angry. Not at him or God even, but just that I want my daddy! I admit this of course because even thought I pray and believe, I am not superwoman (and my family are not superhumans) and there is a very real and human emotional side at times, but when I go though my moments, I take the time to come to myself and be grateful I have a God I can lean and depend on and THAT is the MOST IMPORTANT thing of all. After I've shed my tears or whatever I can come back strengthened through my prayer and the belief of the promises of God to MY FAMILY!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

As Promised... (recap #2)


 Since I can't sleep, I thought this would be a great time to continue where I left off.

3) As I stated before in the previous post, Daddy was removed from the rehab facility that Friday morning. The night before, my mom and I visited him and he was sleep...again. But this time, when I touched him he seemed kind of warm. I asked my mom to feel him and she agreed. Not only was he warm his right arm and hand seemed swollen. I went to the nurses station to make someone aware that he didn't feel right. He felt as if he had a fever. Someone returned to his room and handed me a towel with a plastic bag of ice cubes. :-/ "Hummmm? What is this for??" I asked. She then took the bag and towel from me and propped it on Daddy's forehead. Now, to be honest, I don't remember if I said, "You're kidding, right?" out loud or just to my mom. But she propped it on his head and left out of the room. Oooo-kaaay? (not okay)

His nurse finally came in and checked his temperature..104. I then asked about how he was feeling earlier that day? I was not really getting a straight answer. Unfortunately, this often was the case. I believe she left out to get Daddy medication for his fever and I headed back to the nurses station to have them pull his chart. I wanted to know what is temperature was like earlier. Ugh...104! No one called the family and no one called the doctor assigned to him. Which were specific instructions on his chart, per his doctor.

Yes, we prayed. But my mom whipped out her cell phone and called the doctor immediately. All I know is right after she hung up, the doctor called the nurses station. Enough said. I could tell the staff was nervous and very upset after speaking with the doctor. Not good. Ooops...someone dropped a very BIG ball somewhere!

We prayed over Daddy again. My mom and I were very upset. The fever started to break. I think they were instructed to call the doctor every 2 hours throughout the night with a report. We also called.

That evening we rode the bus home silent. Other than, me sarcastically confirming that I was handed a bag of ice for Daddy's forehead. Once home, I told my mom that I wanted to speak to the case manager. Mommy gave me the number and I left a message. Mommy didn't want to talk to anybody. She didn't want to return any phone calls or anything. This whole thing was not okay. Not at all. That night, I cried. Oh boy, did I cry. I was so distressed and uneasy. I remember texting one of my spiritual mothers, "I WANT MY DADDY!!!!" I cried to the Lord, that none of this is okay. I told Him that my daddy took VERY good care of us and we lacked nothing and this is not right for him to be in a position that he is not cared for properly. That is not the seed he has sown all these years. If the things he was encountering were happening to us while in his position, HEADS WOULD ROLL! Then I cried and cried and finally cried myself to sleep. 

I think I woke up later to use the bathroom. I remember looking in the mirror seeing my eyes so puffy, they were almost swollen shut. I didn't care! I didn't care if I looked a mess going in the work that morning or not! Who cares! Once returning to bed to get back to sleep, I just looked up at the ceiling, "Lord?!? What? Tell me what to do?!? Do we wait? What do we do? I want Daddy out of there, now. I don't feel comfortable with him there. Is it just me? Am I over reacting? Give me a sign? Do you still have this?? God where are you? What if we make the wrong decision? What if we are too hasty? Why won't you answer me? I'm afraid. God, I am so afraid..."

That morning, I abruptly awoke from a dream:
Everyone, I can recall, coming to each hospital to visit Daddy since having the heart attack, was there. We were all in a very large crowd coming to visit him. When we all arrived, we asked if we could see James Armstead.
Then the staff came out to greet us and said, "Oh I'm so sorry. Mr. Armstead passed away." The crowd was in an uproar, "WHAT!!!!! OH MY GOD! NO!" 

I asked, "What are you talking about?! What do you mean, he died? How did this happen?! Why didn't you call?! How?! Why!? What?!" We were all so devastated and confused. We couldn't believe it. The feeling walking away was hopelessness and betrayal. But there was nothing anyone could do. He was already gone and the only replies we received from the staff were, "Oh, I don't know." or "Umm, I just got here." or "Let me check his chart." or "I am sorry." No one really knew anything. These are similar answers we received to questions we asked about his care (in real life) while visiting Daddy at this rehab facility during his brief stay.
 My first thoughts were, "Awww-Nawww! (as the young people would say, "Heck-Naw!!") Lord, I hear you LOUD and CLEAR! I don't know where Daddy is gonna go, but he finsta (that is home talk for "about to") come up out of there!!" I was on a mission. I got up, got dressed and headed to work. On my way, the case manager returned my call. I told her everything that had happened the night before and some other incidents that took place that my mom only shared with me the night before. I told all! The case manager was livid! She told them she wanted Daddy's blood test results ASAP and she better get a call from them before noon. Wow! I think that was about 7:30 am that Friday morning.
After I hung the phone up with the case manager,  I received a call. A lady asking for, "Rose." I informed her that there was no one here by that name and was she aware she had called a salon? She said, she knew it was a salon, but someone told her that Rose had transferred or moved to our location. She just said thank you and that it was okay and we hung up. Not that calling the wrong number does no occur, but this was rather strange. Only because it was so early in the morning and right after speaking with the case manager about Daddy "moving" or "being transferred."

I went ahead and continued to prepare for my first client. Then a "eureka" moment: "Wait, let me look up the word ROSE!" I've been asking for signs, right?
ROSE: Move to a better position; Rise up; Get up and out of bed; Return from the dead; Exert oneself to meet a challenge
Don't you just love, God? Lol! Even in the seriousness of all this, He always jokes and plays these type of "Trust Me" games. At least with me, I know He does. God, now you knew I would look this up in the dictionary! Hahahaha!

By 11:30 am, I received a call from Marna stating Daddy had been taken to the ER up the block from the rehab facility. It was only the next day we found out Daddy not only had an infection, that was septic, they also found a blood clot in the right arm that ranged from his shoulder to his elbow. He was very, very sick. And yes, I do believe that under these circumstances, Daddy would have just "passed away" like in my dream if he would have stayed at that rehab facility. Although, I do know for a fact, that his brief stay there was for a reason. My God wastes nothing. Absolutely, nothing.
There is still more, I have to write about that happened previously to bring you to where we are today. But for now, I have to jump to what is going on this week.

---------------------------------------------------
Now, to bring you up to speed with what is currently happening. Daddy is still in the Critical Care Unit. They are monitoring everything very carefully. About two days ago, they did have to insert a tube down into his stomach, through his nose. Sigh. He is very upset about all of this and quite fussy. We can't make out all that he is saying, but we are very clear, that he is not happy and everybody knows it. They are trying to drain the fluid of bacteria from the infection out of his stomach and they don't want to contaminate the feeding tube already in his stomach. So it has to go through his nose.

I'm glad none of that happened on my visit. Ugh! I know I wouldn't have been able to handle all of that and how he dealt with it. So that was on Marna's and my mom's watch. Marna said, he was very, very, highly upset when they returned to his room. He was talking, but fussing too. When they finally came home, they were a little distressed. My mom said that it always feels like two steps forward and one step back during this whole ordeal with Daddy. I know what she means. It is like we still trust God, but the longer this goes on the harder it becomes emotionally. It's like an up and down, up and down roller coaster ride that has not ended.

That was the night they not only told my mom that during the scan they saw the fluid in his stomach, but they were concerned about the start of pneumonia and an area in his head that appears as if he had a stroke. 
  Good Grief!

 You know, I figure we can always get down in the dumps every time we hear a bad report or a negative comment, or we can take what was said and place it at God's feet. "Here Lord, they said this or that. You take it, 'cause I don't know what to do with it. Other than, use it as a prayer target." I am understanding what it means to place your burdens at His feet and continue to praise Him. Because we sure can't do a thing about it!

The next day, we arrived at the hospital only to find a nurse re-positioning Daddy's tube. I had to leave the room. My mom stayed in there to hold his hand, up to a certain point. From the waiting room I heard him moaning, groaning and yelling at the nurse, "Stop it, Stop it, Stop it!" When I returned, the nurse said that he pulled the tube out with his BAD hand--the one they didn't bother to restrain because they didn't think he could move it--he had not been moving it all this time. Daddy was mumbling and grumbling about this being too much stuff. At least that is some of what we were able to make out. I had to tell the nurse that he is very sneaky and they have to really watch him. My mom told her that he will lay there plotting and planning how to do something. At that, Daddy started to smirk, smile and sort of laugh. It was good to finally see him do that. But that also meant he had something else up his sleeve. ;-) Unfortunately, they had to restrain both arms. The nurse started laughing and said that was good Daddy was a fighter and also displaying cogitative thinking. But they can't have him doing that any more. 

So he is just lying there, both arms restrained, with a tube in his nose, port in his stomach, a direct line in his neck, catheter in the front...and the back, poop bag hanging on one side of the bed and urine bag on the other, being repositioned every two hours, poked in the finger to check blood sugar more than just a couple of times a day, not able to communicate fully, clot in his arm, bacteria fluid in his stomach, infection in his blood, swollen legs and feet, with caution tape draped about his bed. Have I forgotten anything? Oh yeah, and wanting breakfast. God we need a miracle. Only you can do what is impossible.

The next morning this is the bible text that arrived on my cell phone: 
Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God."- Mark 10:27
Lord, I believe You do the impossible. 
And we will continue to praise you while we wait.




Praise You In This Storm

I was sure by now
God, You would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day
But once again, I say "Amen", and it's still raining

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
"I'm with You"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

I'll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
Every tear I've cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I remember when
I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry
You raised me up again
My strength is almost gone
How can I carry on
If I can't find You

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
"I'm with You"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

I'll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
Every tear I've cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I lift my eyes unto the hills
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
The Maker of Heaven and Earth
 
I lift my eyes unto the hills
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
The Maker of Heaven and Earth

I'll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
Every tear I've cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm
Though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm


Casting Crowns
Mark Hall/music by Mark Hall and Bernie Herms
2005 Club Zoo Music (BMI) /
SWECS Music (BMI) (adm. by EMI CMG Publishing) /
Word Music, LLC (ASCAP) /
Banahama Tunes (ASCAP) (adm. by Word Music, LLC)



And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. - Romans 8:28 (New International Version)
So we're not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There's far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can't see now will last forever. - 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (The Message)


Why am I discouraged? Why am I restless? I trust you! And I will praise you again because you help me, and you are my God. - Psalm 42:5-6a (Contemporary English Version)
The LORD Will Protect His People I look to the hills! Where will I find help? It will come from the LORD, who created the heavens and the earth. - Psalm 121:1-2 (Contemporary English Version)
Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. 21 And he said: “ Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; Blessed be the name of the LORD.” - Job 1:20-21 (New King James Version)
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered King Nebuchadnezzar, "Your threat means nothing to us. If you throw us in the fire, the God we serve can rescue us from your roaring furnace and anything else you might cook up, O king. But even if he doesn't, it wouldn't make a bit of difference, O king. We still wouldn't serve your gods or worship the gold statue you set up." - Daniel 3:16-18 (The Message)

Until next time,
June