How Safe is Alabama’s Safer-At-Home for Group Homes

July 3rd is four weeks from today. Four more weeks of what is now being allowed and called “porch visits”. Four more weeks of y daughter asking when she can come home. When she can spend the night at Grandma’s. Four more weeks of being considered “vulnerable” when it comes to a CoVid yet they are physically healthier than most. Four more weeks?!

~rejoice in the little things~

It has been ten weeks today since we have seen our daughter in person. Ten weeks since we were on the way home from out of state and had to make a quick decision. Ten weeks since we were traveling home to who knew what when it came to our small businesses and closures. We thought, if there is a virus going around she will be safer in a quarantined space while we sort out our businesses. We knew we would be around a fair amount of people so we made the decision to allow her to remain in her group home safe and secure, free from the virus. Who could have known that this quarantine would have gone into all of these weeks for the “vulnerable”?

Assisted living and group homes are put into the same category as nursing homes so although Megan is physically healthy, she is put…

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How Safe is Alabama’s Safer-At-Home for Group Homes

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It has been ten weeks today since we have seen our daughter in person. Ten weeks since we were on the way home from out of state and had to make a quick decision. Ten weeks since we were traveling home to who knew what when it came to our small businesses and closures. We thought, if there is a virus going around she will be safer in a quarantined space while we sort out our businesses. We knew we would be around a fair amount of people so we made the decision to allow her to remain in her group home safe and secure, free from the virus. Who could have known that this quarantine would have gone into all of these weeks for the “vulnerable”?

Assisted living and group homes are put into the same category as nursing homes so although Megan is physically healthy, she is put into the vulnerable category. Because of this, she is on lock down. She doesn’t leave her home, doesn’t see her family, doesn’t get to make her scheduled Doctor visits. Yet another special needs adult I know who lives in a city south of us goes to work every day from her group home. A city that was hit much harder by CoVid than Huntsville was.


The Caregivers come and go from the Group Home. They go home to their families and to whomever they see during their off time but then they return to the group home to care for the residents. This, of course occurs in Nursing Homes and Assisted Living facilities as well. How can it not? Yet is this a safe and secure environment for our vulnerable still? We are told that their temperatures are taken but we know that this virus is asymptomatic. Infection could be happening long before it is recognized. These businesses are doing what they need to do with their staffing and doing the best that they can. But what is the difference between a Caregiver going home to their family and a residents’s family visiting them?

Yes, there is a large population at a nursing home facility. But in a group home? Why must they be lumped together? And what of the emotional and mental impact on these residents? The depression that comes from not seeing family has to be impactful.

Ten weeks of not leaving the house or a facility will affect anyone emotionally or psychologically. To be in the same place, day in and day out and not allowed to see family is troubling. They need to see the people they trust most.

I implore you, Governor Ivey and State Health Official Dr. Scott Harris to rethink this “one size fits all” approach. I need to see my daughter and I’m sure I speak for many others who want to see their children as well. Now you tell us to wait until July 3rd. Fix this. Please.

A 30th Birthday

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Yesterday was my daughter’s 30th birthday.  It was a small celebration…just her Dad and I and her Grandmother. Lots of sweet FB wishes from 30 years of friends, teachers and family spread out across the states.  Megan doesn’t do huge birthday parties as it overwhelms her. She doesn’t like a lot of presents. She likes to go out to eat and have cake.  She’s 30 years old and is a person with autism. We celebrated her 30 years on this earth but the underlying thought was that we also have had almost 30 years of being a part of the world of autism.

When Megan was diagnosed with autism, you didn’t hear the word. Most didn’t know what it meant. In fact, it wasn’t until she was 8 years old that a Doctor at Duke University uttered the word “Autism” to us.  The only reason we even had an inkling of what that might mean was because of the research I was able to do on my 2400 dial up modem. Yes….You’ve Got Mail days.

Many years and much growth has happened since those early days. I think of how much further along she might be had the world been ready for a child diagnosed with autism. If Doctors and educators had known of the epidemic that was to come.  But everyone, including her Father and myself did the best that we could do with the knowledge that we had at the time.

She was 10-12 years old when the vaccination debate was in full swing. Oh how I tried to blame the vaccinations. I needed to blame something. Someone.  But it wasn’t to be. The timeline didn’t fit.  So I moved on.  And acceptance reared it’s tearful head.

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Thirty years in and there are still challenges. Still mood swings.  Still people who treat her as if she is a leper. But the good always outweighs the bad. The people we have met in 30 years because of autism are true and solid and loving. They are the people who exemplify Love in it’s finest form. And I have to believe that she knows it and feels it. Because there are people who put a smile on her face.  They certainly put one on ours. We are grateful for them.  And so blessed beyond measure for her.

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Lent Fast. Fail.

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Did you give anything up for Lent? I realize that isn’t necessarily a Protestant practice although it has become more prevalent in recent years.

I woke up yesterday and was like, “Oh no….what am I going to give up?” I obviously hadn’t put a whole lot of thought into it and to be perfectly honest, in recent years, I wasn’t even so sure of what I thought of it. Didn’t Jesus go to the cross and pay for all of my sins so what was it exactly I was giving anything up for? But as I’ve read and read and read my mind shifted a bit. My heart too, I suppose. And I thought if Christ, in the form of a man could go to a cross and hang on there in excruciating pain as a payment for my foolishness, I could give up cupcakes for 40 days as a form of self-denial!

Matthew 6 tells us, “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do…..”. He doesn’t say, “If we fast”…he says, “When”. How often do I do this in any area of my life?

So yesterday, I thought okay, Diet Coke. I have started my Diet Coke addiction back up. I drink it any chance I can get it and my water intake had dropped. I don’t know how it happened. I’m going to blame my friends in Florida during Thanksgiving. They always have a refrigerator full of Diet Coke so as we spent time there, I indulged a few times. Since then, it’s been on. So, sure, Diet Coke it is!

Decided this around 8am yesterday morning. By 11:45am, I am at our Madison Cafe and lo and behold, there I am drinking a Diet Coke. About half empty, I look at it and thought, “Really?!?”. It wasn’t even in the forefront of my brain. Not even close to my head even. Nowhere in the building. Pretty sure I left it at the kitchen table when I made that quick, impulsive decision!

And after some Lent study and reading last night about fasting, I realized that the reason I didn’t have it on the forefront of my mind was because I wasn’t replacing it with Him! I didn’t bring Jesus into the equation. I was just going about thinking I was going to “give it up”. Fail!

Sacrifice is good. It’s important. And again, as Matthew 6 tells us…”When” we fast…not “if”….so this is something we are asked to do from time to time. But when we do…when, *I* do, my foundation needs to be rooted in Christ. Rooted in deepening my love for Him and my relationship with Him. Not for a sense of pride or accomplishment. Yesterday was a fail.

Today…..it’s only 8:34am but so far, no Diet Coke.

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Photo Cred: The Oops Store

One. More. Moment.

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This year we’ve had loss. My Mother-in-law passed away in February and my Gran passed away in May. Three years ago we lost my husband’s step-Mom. Two years ago my Step-Dad. My Dad has been gone for years now. My husband and I each have one parent remaining. We have no Grandparents. We’re in our 50’s. Old to some of you but not that old to most. And more than half of our family is gone.

I don’t say all of this to depress anyone or to cause anyone to feel sorry for us. On the contrary. I say all of this to encourage you.

As you have those family gatherings, some of which you look forward to and some of which you’re dreading, take it all in. Take in the people that are around you. Look around the room and know that some may not be there the next Christmas or the one after that. They may not be your favorite but their presence will be missed when they are gone. And with this whole circle of life thing, I hate to break it to you but loss happens. And it stinks. And it’s hard. And it’s messy. And it’s sad. Even if they weren’t your favorite people. And especially if they were.

Take it in. Look around. And ask God to give you extra patience and love for those who make it their goal to be unloveable. What I wouldn’t give for another moment with those we’ve lost. One. More. Moment.

If you have that….take it.

Much love. xo

92 years…still counting….

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My friend Robin is one of the smartest people I know. She’s strong, Godly and has wisdom that I glean from! She shared a blog the other day about her Mother-in-law. It’s beautifully endearing yet profoundly sad and today, on Gran’s 92nd birthday, I can relate to every single thought and emotion.

When You’re Praying This is Her Last Mother’s Day

Watching a loved one reach closer to the end of their life is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life. I haven’t shared much, except with a small group of people. I don’t know why, really except it feels private. Yet, impending death doesn’t have to be a hush and taboo topic.

Gran has lived a great life in many ways. She’s loved and been loved well. She’s been a part of our small family’s life always, even if we all didn’t live in the same state. She’s been a Mom, Wife, Grandmother, Great-Grandmother and Great-Great Grandmother. Such an amazing blessing!

Today on her 92nd birthday, there will be no formal celebration. She is on hospice care now and won’t have the energy to celebrate. Today as I spoon fed her jello and stroked her hair, I was filled with so much love for this tiny woman who has loved me well. Loved my Mom, my Sister and our children well.

You may not have the energy to celebrate today, but we celebrate you. And love you so very, very much!

Happy 92nd Birthday Gran!

 

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Beauty in life…

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Sitting on my front porch making calls concerning my Gran’s hospice care and the cutest little Hummingbird hovers directly in front of me with not a drop of nectar in sight. Thanks for the sweet treat this morning God!

This weekend was rough. So rough. And the call list for help has changed as life is fluid. People move. People travel. Relationships change. But then you discover people you knew but really didn’t know who drop what they are doing to come break down a bed so that hospice can bring a hospital bed. You find a neighbor who shows up with food, just because. You mess up your kid’s date day and they come to help, no questions asked. You’ve got your Mom who is there throughout the day offering encouragment and loving on her Mom and me and taking care of Megan. Your Sister, praying and loving from a distance. You have staff who pick up the caterings and work extra hours to make sure that everything goes well in spite of the sudden change.

You miss a funeral for a loved one of some precious friends and they want to love on me.

Life isn’t always predictable. It’s constantly changing with new beauty yet challenges daily. But you move. You continue to go forward. And then you wake up to a lady who is much different than two days ago. Who’s appetite is back. Who is enjoying her morning coffee even if from a metal hospital bed.

And a hummingbird flys by to say hello. God is always present. In people, in the hard and in the beauty. Grateful.

Christy by Catherine Marshall: Review

50 years ago this book was born.  50 years ago saw a life time of differences than what’s in our world today.  50 years ago, Christy Huddleston made a decision to take a train to Cutter Gap, a world completely different from what she had known.  Christy’s heart and her faith caused her to make this giant leap into unknown territory and to a people group that questioned whether she would change their way of life.

Yet although this was written 50 years ago, it is a timeless work of fiction.  It’s not the easiest read as the topics can be difficult but it’s real life circumstances and we can’t hide from that!

I didn’t read Christy as a young teen so am glad to have had the opportunity to feast on this classic which touches upon so many emotions that you can’t step away from it.  Christy’s determination and fortitude is inspiring for the generations!

 

Denise~

 

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I received this book in exchange for my honest review.  Always honest!

LitFuse Publicity Group

Book Review: Rule of Law by Randy Singer

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This was my first novel by Randy Singer but it certainly will not be my last.    Family, suspense, joy, sadness and faith are all intertwined with timely topics that are relevant to today’s culture.  Randy gives us character depth as well as a storyline rich with facts but not in a way that deters the reader from enjoying.

Paige and Patrick are the two key players but the novel delves into real community and bonds with a multitude of people.  Before thinking that this is a sweet, feel-good always happy novel, this is a thriller filled with suspense while the other components are sweetly mixed it. And faith is a strong aspect!  I honestly couldn’t put this book down and was sad when it ended. For me, that is always the best sign of a great novel.  The characters become a part of you and you them. The best kind of writing!

I look forward to my next Randy Singer novel!  This man can write!

Denise~

 

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I received this book in exchange for my honest opinion.  Always honest!  LitFuse Group