Saw Mom Saturday–She Knew Me!

When someone has Alzheimer’s you celebrate the moment. I was reminded today by a wise friend on Twitter that the day will come when my mom will no longer know me. She didn’t say it that way exactly. She just talked about her grandmother with Alzheimer’s and how hard it became for her when she still loved her grandma so much and she no longer knew her. All along I’ve known that day will come and I have not steeled my heart against it. I have loved my mom with all my heart, with all my focus, with all my strength and given her all of me in the present moment. Because the present moment is all we have. I have started a blog for her of our outings so I can bring my laptop when I visit and read to her what we did. This is not a post for that blog, though. This post is for me to share how I feel. I love my mom. Some people say I light up like a Christmas tree around her. I know that I do. It’s because she loves me so much and so unconditionally. She always has. My husband says she is the president of my fan club~ LOL ~ and she is! Bless her heart. She thinks I’m wonderful and there is absolutely no point in arguing with her so I don’t — I just bask in the warm rays of her approval.

Here is how we smile when we’re together:

Mom and I on Saturday


So that’s my mom!

Now you know why I will miss her so much when she completely loses her memory. I treasure each day with a phone call or visit now and will honor her with them then. I love my mom.

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What A Wonderful Day!

“Every child born into the world is a new thought of God, an ever fresh and radiant possibility” Kate Douglas Wiggin

Today I went to my nephew Andy’s fiance’s Bridal Shower. It was a wonderful day! The hostess, Andy’s aunt on his dad’s side, was amazing. Her house, the shower treats and decor…everything was perfect. I love the woman Andy is marrying. Her name is Trisha and she’s smart and witty, considerate, lovely and funny! She is his other half, his bookend.

What made the day doubly special is we got to go around the porch in a circle and say who we were and how we knew Andy, what relation we were to him. I never thought about what I might say. I listened to the others, joined in the fun and watched the look of delight, love and laughter on Trisha’s face when we spoke of him.

Then came my turn…I couldn’t believe what I said. I said that Andy came along in a very low point in my life. My own little son had died and I was sick with sorrow. I spent so much time with my sister Suzy and little Andy, they were my best friends…and my heart healed as I spent time with this wonderful little boy. I said Andy restored my heart.

I was a bit embarrassed for bringing up the death of my little boy at such a joyous occasion, but my words came straight from the heart. I love my nephew and thank my sister for being so very generous with him.

What a gift! And what a beautiful way to bring me back from the land of mourning. A wonderful, happy, healthy baby boy a year younger than my Davey gave me back my heart!

Thank you God for using him in my life this way…I pray you bless his and Trisha’s life most wonderfully! It was an awesome day!

The Love of My Life

My Love For 32+ Years and Best Friend!

“Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love NEVER FAILS!” I Corinthians 13:7-8a

Thirty-two years ago on July 27th, my husband Mike and I recited the entire chapter of I Corinthians 13 back and forth to either during our wedding ceremony. The LOVE Chapter of the New Testament laid the groundwork for our marriage and we have treasured these words of God ever since.

It has kept our marriage strong in the love of God and our love for each other. A love not born of selfishness, but rather giving. A love not filled with jealousy, one upsmanship, or jockeying for position. Not filled with who is right and who is wrong, but rather consolation and support.

We have been there for each other through the tough times and celebrated in them midst of them. Now we enjoy a deeper friendship, respect, joy and passion than I thought it was possible to know on this earth.

My husband, Mike likes this quote from Gale Sayers: “The Lord is first, my family is second, and I am third.” He doesn’t just like the quote, he lives it. And his family, my daughter and I reap the benefits, the support, the love…I return it by having his back as he has mine.

Is loving unconditionally possible for human beings? I have lived it and I know it is. By the power of God alone, we can put him first, each other second and ourselves last.

That is the secret of our marriage, putting each other first, having fun together, being best friends as well as lovers. The Lord, the support of family and friends provide for the rest of this loving community.

I treasure our days together. Yesterday was special, but so are they all! Unconditional love, forgiveness, fun and lots of hugs and kisses are the order of the day at the Sweiger household. Thank you God for being there for us and for the wonderful gift of each other!

Easter Reflections: The Death of a Son

Davey at 6 months

I was with my lovely daughter today. She drove down from Duluth, MN to Minnetonka, Mn see us on Easter. She is delightful, loving and the best daughter any mom could ask for. She’s the child I dreamed about and prayed for. I enjoyed the day immensely.

“I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge. That myth is more potent than history. That dreams are more powerful than facts. That hope always triumphs over experience. That laughter is the only cure for grief. And I believe that love is stronger than death.” — Robert Fulghum

Next to her picture on the mantel, is one of her brother. I could not help reflecting on my dear little son, who’s been in Heaven for the past 30+ years. He only lived eleven months. He was such a precious child like his sister. Desperately sick with a bad heart, yet such a brave and strong spirit. A joy-filled, loving, wonderful child.

And because it’s Easter I was thinking about the Son that died for us. What the Father lost. What He did for us that we might have fellowship with Him. I am so touched to the core, by the love that He showed in sacrificing His only son.

The death of a loved one is hard to bear and doesn’t lessen with time in some ways. I went to a grief class years ago and they said grieving is like a taffy pull, one minute you’re fine and then you snap back to the worst sadness again.

Comfort IS found in Joy and Laughter. I do believe the above quote is true and the author most insightful. When I think of my son I remember his laugh, his wise eyes, his depth of understanding for a life he was really too young to understand. He was a wonderful gift to me and his father. And perhaps there we find our joy. In the gifts that we experience, in the love that we share, in spite of the grief that comes with loving.

This Easter day I remember my David and his precious life. My Savior and His precious Love for us all — and my heart is filled with the enormous gift my life is.

Proud Abby @Sweiger68 is my daughter!

I am so proud of my daughter Abby @Sweiger68 on Twitter I just have to tell you all about it! Not only is she a terrific daughter, loving, and sweet, good to her parents, friends and furry creatures. She has recently found a way to be better to herself! She’s lost 50 pounds! She’s young, so you wonder how could someone make such a commitment at her age with the demands of work and sports and friends and family everywhere you turn? She wrote all about it on her website:

Best Friends Finally Meet!

Good friends meet at last!

“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: “What! You too? I thought I was the only one.”
— C.S. Lewis

Last week was one of the funnest ever in my life! And meaningful! And active! A non-stop crazy-girlfriends stupendous, exciting chat and shop — eat and drink pop, do toenails, have slumber parties extravaganza! My friend from twitter and Facebook, Heather @AliveinMe flew into Minneapolis from Philadelphia last Saturday and stayed the week! In that time she found a BIG place in me and my dear husband’s heart! We will never be the same again. So endearing she was to our family…we miss her and my 80-year-old mom misses her. Mom has dementia and doesn’t remember people well. But, she remembers Heather. We talk about her every day!

We had such a great time! Ordained by the Author of all great fun and great plans for us! The Lord was so good to us…kept us from sniffles though the weather was frightfully cold. We stayed up until the early morning hours making beaded necklaces! And talking. Always talking. Like we had known each other forever. And we have! Virtually!

We raced through the week like our tails were on fire. Trying to absorb all we could from each other. Making necklaces (our favorite ones to give to each other), many went to me since I was a newbie at beading. I was keeping my attempts and Heather was showering me with gifts, not for any other reason than two generous hearts meeting and reaching out to each other with the true love of Jesus! I kept her supplied with tea, water, pop, her every need, so she could rest and stay well and jam making jewelry for her mom’s shop. We chatted and laughed and talked and smiled and enjoyed immensely each others company! Oh yes, and took about 100 pictures! Which we kept posting on Facebook! 🙂 We did our own nails and toes but counted on department stores for new makeup and trying each others brands like long-lost sisters sharing their secrets! We hit the best beading shop the first day to stock up for the necklace making nights and we fared well! I now have 10 for myself and Heather has 30 to sell at her mom’s store! My math has never been great, but I’m not sure I contributed to the profit margin. 🙂 Oh well, I will, I am carrying on…it is such fun!

My dear friend’s gone home to her family. My husband Mike and I are missing her. I am quite lonesome, but there are remembrances all around the house, an artificial flower arrangement I love with butterflies in it. I bought her one at the same time and we didn’t know it until we got in the car! A beautiful glass pitcher threaded with blue and green transparent color from my favorite shop. She has left little parts of her love and joy everywhere. We hope she returns very soon, or we will get in my car and drive to Philly! Chilly Philly! Love you all! Facebook and Twitter friends! Take a chance and get to know each other better! Love you Heather so aptly named @AliveinMe. You are sure aLIVE, full of joy and love and definitely glowing in Jesus. As for me @libbytalks, it has now been confirmed that I can talk all day and all night too!

Best Friends Forever!

Music Expresses the Inexpressible!

I love music! Worship Music! Playful Music! Anytime Music! Let's Dance!

“After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.” — Aldous Huxley
I have always loved music. One of my strongest early music memories was driving through the most beautiful parts of the Rocky Mountains in summer in Colorado. My dad was driving. He burst into song, singing for the first time I’d ever heard it: “America the Beautiful”. The song was as majestic as the scenery and my dad belted it out with reverence and gusto. I’ll never forget the feeling it gave me. One of awe and reverence for the beauty of the earth! And the glory of the skies! My dad taught me the entire song as we drove through those mountains. What a glorious, stirring, magical day. I reached out to the BIGNESS of our God and creation as much as a 7-year-old can! I felt such a terrific love for my father it was almost fierce. He fit in the scene so well, bigger than life, knowing it’s mysteries and secrets and willing to share them with me!

I love to sing! In the shower, in the car, in the kitchen, wherever the mood strikes! And dance. I used to have a dog Spunky. She lives with my daughter now, who danced with me every time I put the radio on! I love to listen to music of all kinds. It brings joy to my soul. But of all the songs I have ever heard and of all the voices I will ever miss — it will be my dad’s whether singing “America the Beautiful” up a mountain pass, or Happy Birthday to me, every morning of my birthdays!

I’ve tried to express the inexpressible, how I feel about music and how I feel about my dad. I guess the only word that comes close is LOVE.usic.html”>

A Poem To My Friend: Rough Spots

“They” say life is a series of peaks and valleys,
just ride it out over the rough spots!

But what are you to do —
when you’re lost in the mountains
And the light just isn’t shining through?

All you can do is climb to the Peak
Take a look at all that has been,
Consider your beautiful rolling hills
Among the long, sorrow-filled valleys.

Remind yourself you hiked through many
a rough spot in the valleys and still made it
to climb to the top of the Mountain of Reflection!

You are stronger than you thought you were —
While climbing over the rough spots below.

Strong enough to climb to the height of discovery.
To see all the great and wonderful things in your life —
And what else? A companion by your side!

Your Highest Power was beside you all way!
You can see your companion near the top of the mountain,
catching you before you fall into a ravine.

You were NEVER alone. Friends were rooting for you. You
had your inner strength and your Companion by your side.
You made it and you will be able to do it again.

Enjoy the mountaintop for a while,
and then begin the slow and careful descent
home and back into your life.

My Dad’s an Author Twice!

Author Twice! My Dad - Bill Baker

“Some of these stores are humorous, some involve pathos, some are illuminating, some resulted in hospital confinement and some just portray the human condition.” So says my dad in the introduction of his new book “The Guide Shoots First”. It’s a collection of stories of his trips to hunt waterfowl and upland birds in the Dakotas, Montana and Canada, including a camp he ran in the Dakotas. I really love the book and recommend it heartily. I am not saying this because he is my dad — which he is — but simply because it is so well-written, witty, and moving — a real page-turner. Frankly, I hate to admit something. It takes a bit to get me to read a book these days, with my online business, writing and family responsibilities. Lying down is one of my favorite past-times! So I was pleasantly surprised to finding myself so enjoying a book of hunting stories. Of course, not very surprised, because I know my dad is a consummate storyteller. Flawless really. I’d just never read these stories before. They came so very alive and were so funny and quick. I know my dad is — just didn’t know he would translate so well and he does.

If you have an interest in fathers and how they relate to their sons. The great outdoors. A good book filled with the vivid vignettes William Baker can lay down, you definitely want to check his website and take a further look at this. And at least discover where the title came from!

Here’s the website: http://theguideshootsfirst.com — Oh it’s on the blogroll!!! 🙂

Enjoy!

Our car escapes the junk heap again, this time with laughter!

We Love To Laugh!


We were driving home from a busy day on Friday. My husband Mike had the day off. We’d gotten our teeth cleaned and run errands and made a day of it. We were beat and eager to get home! We were driving on 394, the freeway that leads to our house in Minnetonka, a suburb of Minneapolis, Mn. Suddenly the car started making a terrible whooshing sound!

I panicked of course. I said what is that and Mike replied he had no idea, but that he’d recently put some money into diagnostics on the car and it really couldn’t be anything. I begged to differ. I said we just had $300+ put into this car and now it’s really falling apart! I say we drive right to Morrie’s and trade it in today! Before something else goes drastically wrong. And I panicked about three more things related to the car in quick succession! I thought Mike was going to listen to me and get real tense instead he stayed calm saying there is nothing wrong with the car. My mind fixated on that like a kind of mantra and suddenly I said, “Could it be the mood roof? I had that open today to show mom.” He looked at me reached up and shut the moon roof tightly. The whooshing stopped. He started to laugh. And then without warning, began to do a perfect imitation of me in a state of high anxiety! 🙂 He was sooo funny! I started laughing and couldn’t stop! He was perfect! He was saying in a high-pitched voice, we’ve got to call Morrie’s see what they’re offering for used cars! We’ve got to over there at once and see if they will work with us! We can’t let this car eat anymore of our money and so on and so on and so on!!!

We both laughed so very hard!! It’s good to laugh at yourself! And I wouldn’t have if Mike was in the habit of imitating me, but he wasn’t. He’d never done it before. Which is what made it so funny! We went into spasms of laughter, not at each other, but at life. And cars, And pinching pennies! Hope you laughed with us! And remember this wisdom:

“Everyone wants to ride with you in the limo but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.” — Oprah Winfrey — That’s my guy!