Where Have All the Flowers Gone?

Early thirties, with my sisters Myra, Jo, me and Norma, I never wore makeup

“Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near.” Isaiah 55:6

I woke up the day of my 30th birthday to discover that my once blush pink lips had disappeared into the rest of my face. From that day on I had to wear lipstick. At 40 my hair was metamorphosing to a new color of dull gray. I plucked out the unwanted grays until it became a battle in which surrendering to the enemy was giving up part of my youth. I remember the first time I colored my hair, never thinking it was the start of what today is an everlasting toil of labor.

Forty something, with Sonja
Fifty something with Mike and our grand babies Maddie and Will

We moved to Orange County in the early eighties, and  the only person that I knew that exercised regularly was my husband Mike. He ran up and down hills and back home, as our streets were not dotted with 24 Hour Fitness centers, and personal trainers were nonexistent . As a young mother, my job was to raise my children and tend to needs of the household, plus I was working part-time at our company. I rarely exercised, I didn’t need to…big mistake. Something was going on in my body that my brain failed to register. Five pounds a year is not that big of a deal right? Well, 5 pounds for 8 years is. So at 50, when my weight was shifting south, at first I would purchase clothes a size smaller with the thought that I would work hard and lose the weight to fit into the new outfits.  I finally came to the realization that my body was changing in slow motion that quickly turned into a rapid pace. I piled the new clothes, with tags and gave them away.

At 60 pretty much all hell broke loose, because I had a cancer scare, but thanks be to God no cancer. I was  diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, but on a trip to France I was healed in the Grottos of Lourdes.

My teeth were a huge issue that required bone grafting. Bone grafting is a procedure in which an oral surgeon saws your jaw bone, lifts it up and places some type of animal bone to cause it to grow. In my case it was a pig bone that was used. I could never live being part pig so the grafting did not work for me. I never read the side effects of  bone grafting, but Mike did, and asked me “Are you sure you want to do this? It says that fingers could start growing on the side of your face?” That kind of stuff never scares me, I just wanted my teeth repaired. Remember that movie Aston Powers and the part that Mike Myers played? Well my family would tease me by quoting “One Million Dollar!” holding their pinkie to the corner of their mouth, I did not think that was funny.

My German molars

My oral surgeon is the best in Orange County, and her clients include the members of the Anaheim Ducks. She was dumbfounded and told me that I was her first failed case. After we spent ton of money, the specialist decided that she wanted to give it another shot. Again, more pork in my mouth and again, failure. Mike was so upset that he decided to go with me to the follow-up visit. We honestly could have purchased a nice small vehicle for the expense that we were put through. The specialist’s observation led her to suggest that I get braces to correct another problem first; she said that she would foot the bill as well. Two more years were added and there I was with a cheesy 12-year-old smile, and for  the rest of my life I must wear retainer at night. It was not over yet because after the braces, we had to deal with the missing teeth, yet another specialist and another huge expense. I now have German molars, yes, they were made in Germany.

From my teeth the health concerns shifted to my feet. On Thursday I will have a procedure to alleviate my hammer toe. I am believing God that this will work; otherwise surgery will be needed. The hammer toe causes dry feet, I tried home remedies for the problematic foot like rubbing Vick’s on my feet. All that did was collect debris on my foot, and of course my daughter Sonja was asking me why I had leaves on my toes. Now the foot and ankle specialist is telling me that it is necessary that three of my toenails be removed in order to correct all the damage from the dreaded hammer toe.

Within the last ten years I have incorporated exercise on a regular basis and am working on gaining muscle tone, if for any reason to hold up my frame. For years I have worked on spiritual and have attained peace. My spirit has been striving to learn more of God, but my body has been lacking attention.

These health issues come with age, and since I am a full fledged senior, going into this era of my life was not done kicking and screaming, probably because I was sometimes limping. I have no grand illusion of what I have missed out on because I serve God. It is through this rocky path of mine that wisdom has taken hold of not only my mind but also my heart. I am more prone to prayer than argument. My opinion and values are kept locked up for using only at when asked. I personify the late St. Francis, who wisely said,  “Preach the gospel wherever you go, and when necessary use words.”  I cannot express the importance of Godly wisdom, especially the older we get. We must learn to allow the wisdom of God to rule our lives. The world would have it different saying, that everyone’s opinions matter, because for the most part they do not. That is why we are in the this  great mess today, we can’t seem to grasp the real truth when it is there for the asking.

My health problems are minuscule compared to those of  my sisters in Christ. Glenda, my sweet friend with advanced lupus, fights for her every breath and my precious sister Carol is battling for her life with stage four cancer, and my dear friend Jane recently lost her beautiful daughter Elizabeth. These three women are my examples of wisdom seasoned with grace. I pray for them daily.

” If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will given him.” James 1:5

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