Tag: A Patient’s Story

Peaceful Gratitude

I am thinking more about our early years here, and the kindness of the people who welcomed us. After being in the hospital and surgery at the end of 1993/early 1994, I remember gradually walking again, and a neighbor called after me, “Ellen, where have you been?” I think I then wrote him and his wife a note – I am better with writing for some conversations. At a local restaurant, that no longer exists, a group of retired men met for coffee. My father would have been one of those guys! The name of the restaurant was The Knotty Pine. Although closed, we remember. And we enjoy many wonderful restaurants in the area. I like the places where I am comfortable, and simple good food. Good service. And we see many of the same people.

Some though have passed away, and when I read their impressive obituaries, I am moved by how modest they were, how humble and caring. Service and kindness.

Sometimes kindness too is giving others their new space and time. I can no longer do the physical work of caregiving. Though I support emotionally. And I pray. This is respected, and I am so grateful. No small thing to write a note and pray. I can remember one or two sentences, a card, and how much that meant. Sometimes there is so much initial support – perhaps after a loved one dies – and then someone sends a note six months later. And life changes, and some friendships have changed. Some renew. Can always say a prayer for them. Keep a wise and kind heart. Good manners.

I cooked eggs this morning and remembered a poem from October 2012:

falling leaves
and silent sunrise

how easy today
to let go of old dreams

cook some eggs
wash the dishes
write this poem

And then I rediscovered this poem:

how quickly
another generation
grows
seems I only
looked away
for a moment

how good their work
how beautiful their art

Grateful for all ages – every day new, and full of memories and hope for the future,

Ellen Grace Olinger

Photo by Karl – August 2018

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

fresh water

fresh water
for the lily
Good Friday

I waited patiently for the Lord;
and he inclined unto me,
and heard my cry.

Psalm 40: 1 (KJV)

Ellen Grace Olinger

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

“give us this day”

healthy food
and more exercise
as the weather
is more like Spring

blood pressure monitor
on my desk and
mail from Medicare
on the kitchen table

Spring appointments
on my calendar
and grateful for care
both kind and good

poetry in the mail too
and a shelf of memoirs
from thrift stores to read
food for the soul

Give us this day our daily bread.
Matthew 6: 11 (KJV)

Peaceful gratitude – Ellen Grace Olinger

“Sun petals” image is courtesy of wpclipart.

Gratitude

Yesterday, Karl and I went to Deer Place Plaza in Kohler, Wisconsin. I have been going to the Great Clips there for years, and am happy with my new short Spring hair cut. This was a spontaneous decision. The young person who cut my hair asked if I wanted it shorter, and I said, “Yes, if you have the time.” So helpful. Great Clips is also taking donations for the Ronald McDonald House Charities. We like these opportunities, and the way stores post images with names of those who donate on the wall. There are many stores at Deer Place Plaza. We also went to Target, and then a short walk on the way home.

We support the Aurora Health Care Foundation in our area. I learned that March 30 is National Doctors’ Day. I am indeed a Grateful Patient. My nurse practitioner, doctors and all who help me make a difference.

So many people serve in so many ways, including volunteer work and all the ways people are encouraged through sharing creative work with our blogs and websites. It is wonderful to see how poets and artists also create books and other work for sale. I have been able to buy a few books, cards, and prints over the years. Here and there, as I can. Wonderful. More good content than I could ever read or view – I trust the Mystery! Sometimes a book is on my shelf for a long time, and then the day I read – exactly the words that bless and are needed that day. Times when I have been unwell, rereading works well: the Psalms, Jan Karon, Luci Shaw, many authors.

I still remember when I began getting to know this area, a long time ago. On Mondays, after helping my mother on Sundays in the Milwaukee area, I’d go to the library and a grocery store. People whom I do not know were kind, and then I’d learn the country roads home. I wondered sometimes if my concern for family showed on my face. I must have looked tired. And people were simply working in a kind and professional way. I honor all.

I belong here, with our blogs, and our community in a simple way.

learning more
about native plants
I too thrive best
where I belong

Ellen Grace Olinger

This is another photo by Karl from last Sunday:
Along The Sheboygan River.