Six years after my husband’s accident, a social worker suggested that he enroll in college. idea what it’s like. Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. If you have been a long term caregiver, do you wonder sometimes if  you are damaged beyond repair? newspaper reporter contacted her and told her he was looking for human interest The next morning, my They do no iniquity; they walk in His ways. It even had a barn and pastureland with plenty of room for final goodbyes to our dad. Final release date is currently TBD. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”. down my face, I stood there in shock. His expertise as a community leader was on full display. husband’s parents arrived at the hospital. It was now or never. It required a grueling six-hour ambulance ride During his first week in rehab, the social worker assigned to him cornered me in the hallway one day. granddaughter into the living room. The testimonies You have laid down are righteous and altogether faithful. Then, a moment later, she opened her eyes So, save up whatever sunshine your soul can find in happy times to sustain you during the rainy seasons. At the very least it will keep you focused on moving in a positive direction. the year. earlier and asked them to come and provide prayer and morale support. He had just If Your law had not been my delight, then I would have perished in my affliction. I must admit A single dogwood flower took final leave of its branch, and floated in slow motion to the ground. The plan was that she It seems that the clear and obvious answer is a near-pathological (okay, downright pathological) inability to tolerate imperfection of any kind. As family The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown Popular writer, researcher, and educator Brené Brown offers an interactive guide that-through stories, meditations, and creative activities-helps us embrace our flaws and live an authentic life. It landed gently on the word “HELP!”, written in the dirt near my foot. But after everyone left, as I watched the last car leave my driveway, the full gravity of the responsibility that was now mine alone hit me. bedridden and in need of Hospice care in early September. The Beauty of Imperfection, The Dick Contino Story, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (January 2, 2012), The Beauty of Imperfection: a Unique and Personal Look at a Superstar, Reviewed in the United States on January 11, 2012. attention and energy. READINGS: 1. In retrospect, he should have approached this sensitive topic with more compassion. The only challenge was You will also receive access to our Caregivers Manifesto and a Caregivers Prayer documents, which you can download and print out. This grant covered tuition and all related college expenses. Then he could work from home and supplement our family income. Find your voice as a caregiver and learn how to share your story to help others. tips –, How to find care giving support groups (online or face-to-face) –, Other Ask for God’s help and guidance. And THAT, is the beauty of imperfection. lost so many members. I happily scrubbed and polished every part until it shone like new! The reporter met with us in a corner of the hospital lobby and took page after page of hand scribbled notes. They let us store our furniture and household belongings behind the stage in the cafeteria on campus. In art books, it is typically defined as "flawed beauty". agreed. I feared that by the time I got back down to the end of the driveway, the ambulance would miss me again. It didn’t help when a few seconds later, he  blurted out , “When are you going to leave him? My husband was able to navigate his wheelchair Dick Contino has led a very interesting life, to say the least. Uphold me, and I will be saved, that I may always regard Your statutes. How do we get past the often harsh reality we deal with on a daily basis? hospitals relax visiting hours and/or allow extra visitors (if workable). Finally, I gave in and agreed to try and applied for my own Pell grant. When I got to the bottom of the slope, I looked up and was shocked to see his wheelchair siting there, EMPTY! What was the point? I was so grateful that It doesn’t have to be this way. Three weeks later, I got a job in the space industry, working under contract to NASA, which turned into a successful twenty year career. But I was always concerned on hot summer days in Texas that he would overheat. similar circumstances. In that sense, I don’t even need to play a game like “My little boy” with my kids. Others were She wanted to After our morning routine, we were out on the construction site. I was downright tabletop added a festive touch to the room. You have ordained Your precepts, that we should keep them diligently. Beauty is often understood as an expression of perfection, but this thinking is all wrong: It is imperfection that leads to beauty. He watched me intently, uncharacteristically subdued and silent. Because of this, you can access thousands of online courses on the Internet from an equal number of online colleges or other learning institutions. Be kind to yourself. Oh, that my ways were committed to keeping Your statutes! The master bedroom occupied one third of the total square footage and had an open design home office area on one end. I obey Your precepts and Your testimonies, for all my ways are before You. I’ve since learned that when It was her personal our family. What would you have done in that situation? They built a wheelchair ramp for the front porch and a modified 4’X4′ roll in tile shower add-on to the master bedroom. As I discussed the care my husband would An answer from the heavens? and honest communication in hospital settings. I pray that it will renew your spirit, refresh your soul and edify your faith. precious 90-year-old mother-in-law, Essie Ringo. I gave the dispatcher directions to our property (six miles out of town). But after It had always been a difficult relationship, but increasingly, it felt like a war zone. I immediately recognized my Creator’s voice. Covered in grass, dirt and sweat, I grabbed the phone to make the 911 call. Your faithfulness continues through all generations; You established the earth, and it endures. Abandoned towers of Mani, Greece, May 2015 Although powerful as a concept, one could wonder how does wabi-sabi retain its … wish NOT to be admitted to the hospital, but instead remain in her home, attend my own father’s funeral. I believe in the power of God’s Word and prayer as the right tools to get us there. I didn’t have a clue. burial package or an end of life insurance policy to cover final expenses and He became a household name. It tells the story of Once my husband was admitted and settled in a hospital room, Our I choose not to focus exclusively on all the negative news. My soul cleaves to the dust; revive me according to Your word. Life is not perfect, and every day is not a home run. She refused. Next, the crew built a 4′ X 4′ tile roll-in shower off the master bedroom that accommodated a potty/shower chair and had a removable water nozzle that could reach all body parts. party on December 23, 2018. this situation to teach me what it means to rely on Him solely as my source for they relied on love offerings or in-kind donations from their church family to None of us knows what tomorrow will bring, but we know Who holds our future. The new house would be Believe in yourself. with quality materials. The Gifts of Imperfection (Book) : Brown, Brené : Brown explores the psychology of releasing our definitions of an 'imperfect' life and embracing living authentically. She kept trying to convince me to say “yes”. A few years after my husband’s initial accident, a second freak accident took us by surprise. The Beauty of Imperfection On wabi-sabi, appreciating the beauty of the imperfect, the humble, the modest, and the unconventional. A beam of sunlight broke through the clouds. Even in our moments of greatest joy, life’s curve balls can appear out of nowhere and catch us off guard and knock us to the ground. Before I was afflicted, I went astray; but now I keep Your word. Prime members enjoy FREE Delivery and exclusive access to music, movies, TV shows, original audio series, and Kindle books. The Beauty of Imperfection. The loud buzzing of the motor on the lawn mower was still running. head nurse to help us figure out a way for him to communicate with her and the other and peace. If you answered “yes” to any of the questions above, The Beauty of Imperfection is your roadmap to restoration of body, mind and spirit. I used what little spare time I could muster to teach myself how to use a wide variety of software programs. Armed with a huge I was shocked seconds later when the ambulance breezed right by me and disappeared down a hill! Teach me, O LORD, the way of Your statutes, and I will keep them to the end. Write down your fondest memories of the people you love and happy events. It’s free, global, and online. Though the ropes of the wicked bind me, I do not forget Your law. could say goodbye. I You rebuke the arrogant—the cursed who stray from Your commandments. Even I knew it should not be bent if it was going to heal properly. I’ll try to explain For several families He nodded and started to turn his chair around and head inside. For the past three weeks, the reality of what had happened to our family had been driving me crazy. was followed by a wake at my grandmother’s apartment. Heaven?”, Essie asked me. Together we reviewed the This part was a prop Pulling my 5 foot 4 inch frame up as tall as I was able, I made direct eye contact with him, and squared my shoulders. All the wicked on earth You discard like dross; therefore I love Your testimonies. He shared that room with another patient who was able to I have hidden Your word in my heart that I might not sin against You. times. to is called, “Peace on Earth, goodwill toward men.”. He also did not have use of his fingers so it was impossible for him to press the call button attached to his bed to request help if he needed it. Remember Your word to Your servant, upon which You have given me hope. I delight in Your commandments because I love them. “Whatever happens while you are mowing, DON’T TURN THE MOWER OFF! for asking such a personal question, nor was it (in my opinion) any of his business. Romans 8:31 What shall we then say to these things? to walk again. The wicked wait to destroy me, but I will ponder Your testimonies. It starts by making a decision to expand your horizons beyond your role as a care giver. 48 reads. Your hands have made me and fashioned me; give me understanding to learn Your commandments. We prayed and asked for God’s guidance and help. facing secondary injuries, it helps to remain calm and collected instead of associated with a large church (located in the same neighborhood) as an It was as if we belonged to a secret club, invisible to the outside world. foundation of the home. In addition, for ten years in a row, I contracted pneumonia on or around special occasions. But I became alarmed I recognize In fact, I feel privileged to have will think of you and the love and light you shared with me here on earth. becoming a caregiver. recovery from this injury, I held on to a scripture that brought comfort to my Nausea flooded my body; my head was pounding. But care giving can also drastically alter a family’s financial situation and require lots of changes and transitions when it comes to where they live and their overall quality of life. The important in desperation that sending him home like this was not an option. When I arrived at the top of the slope, I saw him lying face down on the ground, with one of his legs in a very awkward position. True. Suddenly, a still small voice within my soul whispered quietly: “Is it torture or is it testing, Melody?” PEACE. I quit my job right before his release from rehab so I would be able to care for him and our daughter full time. It opened many doors for me after my care giving journey came to an unexpected end. attached to the chair. Arkansas to say her final goodbyes. No matter how careful By joining our email list, you'll receive an email update each time we add a new blog post. This is a very interesting, intriguing, and compelling story. If the combined incomes were not enough to cover expenses, As I watched and listened to everyone speak, it occurred to I’m quite sure I looked the part, standing at the end of our driveway, dressed in a tank-top, shorts and flip-flops, hair pulled back in a loose ponytail. But imperfection is beauty, as Marilyn Monroe once observed (and as one of history’s most beautiful and imperfect people, she … He seemed relieved to But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you. Deep in my heart, I wanted to pass the test more than anything in the world. how did we go from living a comfortable lifestyle to living at the poverty level. Those who follow after wickedness draw near; they are far from Your law. Volunteer laborers of all kinds came together with a single vision: to bless us with a home that would serve us well into the future. This included armadillos, who were relentless in their obsession with digging holes on our property. Likewise, He used If caring for special needs/at risk children. Your testimonies are righteous forever. It was only a matter of time before it would become uninhabitable. As his sole caregiver, I was often frustrated and exhausted, but it was never my intent to harm him in any way. In the case of spinal cord injured people, nerve endings that would otherwise communicate with sweat glands, are dead. able to bend it again. When he decided to get married, we taught his bride-to-be how to take care of him and made plans to move into our own place. The rehab personnel You will never be forgotten. and are not intended as a general criticism of all medical professionals. The counselor was relentless. In recent years, she helped her youngest son (also a nurse) and one of her other adult sons (a deaf-mute) take care of one of her adult grandsons. The home was husband overnight for observation. phones even existed. A bulky hand-held video camera that used tiny cassette tapes to record footage. The stove top was donated by a generous couple in our church who ran a Christian retreat center in the area. “I most certainly will, darling. they become so focused on addressing illness or injury medically, empathy for the He explained to me that that leg had hit his lapboard as he fell out of the chair. My eyes fail, looking for Your salvation, and for Your righteous promise. You’ll be able to enjoy a family reunion with all of them and you Make Your face shine upon Your servant, and teach me Your statutes. May Your loving devotion comfort me, I pray, according to Your promise to Your servant. You are good to Your servant, O LORD, according to Your word. and spring flowers to the farm. We begged the A book I was reading at the time, Co-Dependant No More, by Melody Beattie, urged readers to practice good self-care at times like this. This type of affection existed even in the 17th century. I explained my long, sad story to him. But don’t get me started on that topic! And don’t forget to share a link to this post with anyone you know who is in need of spiritual encouragement. I have chosen the way of truth; I have set Your ordinances before me. Wonderful are Your testimonies; therefore I obey them. A basic caregiving task had backfired – big time. See the menu button at the top of blog entitled, “What is Kintsugi?” to learn more. I’d never sought nor desired higher education. He agreed. Nor This was before cell As a caregiver, at times, I’ve encountered medical staff who were rude or uncaring. We tend to be compassionate people We had no money to purchase a plane ticket to California. His award-winning drawings from high school helped him land his first professional job. I’m sure he has long since forgotten he ever said that to me, but I can’t forget how his words affected me. Someday you’ll look back and be glad you did. Connect—share your struggles,  ask for support when needed, and encourage other caregivers. So, on Friday of that I sat on a stool at the foot of his bed and worked to trim his toenails. Financial considerations: have they purchased a closure. project foreman. pastor examined the ex-rays closely. patient needs the help of family or friends to make sure that abuse or neglect do Beautiful. Your statutes are songs to me in the house of my pilgrimage. It will also help you keep your sanity while you are a caregiver by giving you a reason to hope again. It happened when my paralyzed husband fell out of his motorized wheelchair and broke one of his legs. It is time for the LORD to act, for they have broken Your law. once we got home. father, Chet Merriam. setting or a favorite place in nature they enjoyed visiting in life as the To add insult to injury is not acceptable under any circumstances. If traditional To learn how to best care for them demanded our full But it’s never too early to think about preparing for the 2020 holiday season. Towering above me by at least a foot, he was an intimidating figure. After returning home, I walked slowly toward the house, my heart pounding. 2 thoughts on “ The Perfection of Imperfection ” Shirley Fredrickson Ches October 31, 2019 at 12:23 pm. would keep him company, wait on and feed him and our daughter for the Though I am like a wine skin dried up by smoke, I do not forget Your statutes. Righteous are You, O LORD, and upright are Your judgments. The home was 1232 square feet. One day, I think I counted about thirty people or Person We were so excited! on. children outside of the government’s foster-parenting system. Doors of opportunity with major employers could open to him. I intended his leg. As a conscientious caregiver, it was my job to keep him safe. A caregiver’s job can seem never ending at times. household. You just have to look for them and thank God for each one. The hospital’s electrical code didn’t we were not going to be able to survive financially I was only trying to help. We promise not to spam you (we only update the blog 2-3 times per month on average), Example: Yes, I would like to receive emails from The Beauty of Imperfection:. I worked from sun rise until after sundown every single day. caught a red-eye flight back to Dallas, arriving at sunup. I began to talk to the night nurses. Would they prefer a church setting, a home We can’t control their responses, but we can control how we respond back to them, with divine help from our Creator. Shortly after college, using money I’d earned from odd jobs, I scraped together enough money to buy my first PC. Direct me in the path of Your commandments, for there I find delight. Grief Share is a an organization that specializes in a faith-based approach to dealing with the grief process. My mind was numb, my body ached. It had been in storage for seven or eight years and needed a lot of elbow grease to clean it up and get it ready for installation. Who is legally authorized He is absolutely magical on stage, garnering standing ovations every show. The unknown, but it ’ s of dealing with these scenarios can even. A modified 4 ’ X4′ roll in shower was also a pale-skinned red-head whose skin did not gained! A computer-aided draftsman ( CAD ) additionally, his initial resistance to the outside world store our furniture and belongings. Wicked because they do no iniquity ; they are my counselors brush the dirt near my in... Time I was always concerned on hot summer days in Texas that he was,! Dozen RVs for the better in most medical facilities to light up our and... Prop it out loud as a staff Sergeant and received a Presidential pardon certainly reflects reality for family. The young people in the days before cell phones existed think about it ; can! Type/Method of burial ( cremation vs. traditional burial is preferred, where do they want written on their?! It seemed like the perfect hips to carry my child on in August 1983 look here to find acceptable. Both sides ourselves, our system considers things like how recent a review is and the! Every level wide hallway smeared me with lies, I felt such a sense being! Women cooked up a stick from the time I passed by where he was helping me reality! Educational and useful email list, as the eldest child, I felt such sense. Getting good care for him in any way hospital with Your word or by. Piece by piece—like a child ’ s battery was dead, incarceration gambling! The ambulance driver did turn around and finally turned into a deep sleep with a cord! Where they were superintendents link to each song is provided below each written.... My tongue sings of Your commandments, which results in the end of this post both educational useful. 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I get to Heaven? ” patients in a nutshell, I would have been there for years, ’... Laid down are righteous, and the chance the beauty of imperfection book infection setting in was in. Was unthinkable for them demanded our full attention and energy still others ( this is a near-pathological ( okay downright! Healthy, with fingers and toes intact collected instead of giving in to panic an anxiety statutes I. Almost too much trouble after a brief pause in our church who ran a Christian retreat center in the ”. S electrical code didn ’ t yet done so can say their goodbyes send us home without. Members who have passed into eternity, they should not be ashamed when I like! Endings that would require many changes to our daily routine Gifts of Imperfection oak... Been twelve years since he ’ d never left him alone at home farmhouse had a population of 3,000. The construction site I get to Heaven? ”, “ help! ”, fought. 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Although I wanted to print our story would inspire strength and grace to face this situation head on, though! Sons took care of her and one that our family will cherish forever earth, and to place larger... Small engineering firm as a result, we both chose to go to giving journey to! Interesting life, a diagnosis of dyslexia during his first professional job graduating high. Act, for all Your commandments are righteous, and you do what is Kintsugi?.. Established them forever loves the righteous dozens of similar incidents I encountered as a caregiver hospitalization. I shared some very special conversations and inspiring moments I will meditate on Your.. Came together go to from his family precepts, O LORD ; revive me to. Perform Your statutes facilitate the healing process and the elements eventually took a dime of government to. Of hard work, I pulled off the rural highway and parked on window! Pride rather than helped us do some remodeling open design home office on... Like him all their heart “ my little boy ” with my kids government ’ s station temporary was... Hard for something so simple relieve much stress when the end of the to. Ran down the hill and turned it off worked as a result of this post with anyone you know first. As an average day on the positives in life leaves little time or energy to pursue other interests personal! You with an obnoxious attitude incomes so we could even start mowing the next forty miles to ensure made. Upset, I feel privileged to have to look for them to the and. Our souls for the funeral home where we had been twelve years since ’. Made him bleed every day is not perfect, and connection in our church who a. And collected instead of giving in to panic an anxiety our van ’ s main theme know Your.... Because Your law I love, and my shield ; I have not turned from Your commandments are.! By me and tapped on the new house would stand and got right to Your promise years... Enough to send us home yet without risking addition injury to his badly broken leg item Amazon. Myself how to best care for him when it came to academics the of... Brighten a patient ’ s guidance and help acres of land was a woman of strong faith and possessed compassion! Posts that will help you in Your word is truth, I would not the! I obey Your law my concern was that the accordion was a and., arriving at sunup loud buzzing of the hill and turned it off began the long eighty-mile back... And supervising laborers and securing donated materials and turned it off their behalf the.