Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Sunrises and sunsets - How many are we guaranteed?

This morning was all a Fall morning should be. A golden glow on the horizon as the sun opened its sleepy eyes greeted me as I drove over the country roads to Faye’s house. My mind wandered to all the beautiful sunrises I had seen in some of the places I have traveled.  Sunrises along the Carolina's coastline; Breckenridge, Colorado; and especially over the Danube River in the Bavarian town of Neu-Ulm are among my favorites.

A sunrise from our 2007 vacation at Holden Beach, NC

I don’t see sunrises quite so often now that I’m not working, but they’re something you never grow tired of. This morning’s was one of those extraordinary ones that make you want to get out of bed early to see it every day of your life.  Then I thought about where I was headed this morning. Faye, my sister-in-law has terminal cancer and it’s necessary for someone to be with her at all times. My day is Tuesday…..today. As the sun rose over the trees, I wondered how many more sunrises she would see. I wondered how it must feel to her knowing that her sunrises are limited. I wondered…..I just wondered.

Faye has always been the type of person that every minute of the day is a sunrise for her. She loves life and has lived it to the fullest. She’s a kind, gentle and intensely giving person. I thought about what I would do in her situation. She’s limited in her ability to take care of herself fully now. She still walks, but with a walker. At the time, she is still able to take care of her personal needs and maintain her dignity. Even though she doesn't often get out of the house now, she still gets up at six a.m., bathes, and gets dressed in her beautiful wardrobe of clothes. She puts on make-up and lipstick and puts on one of her many beautiful hats to cover the little bit of new hair growth.

She still loves to be surrounded by beauty. She’ll ask us to help move around her flower arrangements and re-arrange the little decorative items on her mantle. A couple of weeks ago, I cleaned out her flower bed because she didn’t want the neighbors to see a neglected sight as they drove by her home. Her home is full of beautiful things and one room is set aside as a doll room for her doll collection. She often walks in it so that she can see, touch and feel the dolls that she has so carefully selected as her collection has grown over the years.

Today, the sight of the hospital bed in her bedroom was bothering her. She wanted to know if there was any way we could hide the stark metal and the wires underneath. I found a frilly bedspread in one of her closets that was just the right size, and “dressed” the bed with it, making sure that the exposed side was covered all the way to the floor. “That’s so much nicer”, she said, and was satisfied that it was as pretty as a hospital bed was going to get.

Would I handle my limited days that well? I can’t say that I would. I do know that none of us is guaranteed another sunrise. But I also know that Faye’s sunrises will not be over when she’s gone. They’ll only be just beginning. Her faith has kept her going and it will get her to her final destination someday – the place where sunrises begin - and with the One who makes them.


  1. God bless your sis-in-law and also you and her other care givers.
    Many blessings and prayers to you

  2. Thanks for your kind words Marilyn. She's a blessing to be around.

  3. I only hope if I have to experience what your sister-in-law is going through I have the dignity and grace she and my good friend who is experiencing the same, are able to maintain.
    Blessings of love and prayers to you and your sister-in-law.

  4. A very moving post Glenda - it is difficult for us to imagine what Faye is going through and how she finds the strength to face each day.

  5. Oh, my friend Glenda!
    I was in tears to read your post today. Your words "Her faith has kept her going and it will get her to her final destination someday – the place where sunrises begin - and with the One who makes them."
    were so beautiful.
    Your sister-in-law must be a person with a beautiful heart. And I truly respect you being such a caring lady. sunrise and sunset,I almost forgot its beauty♬♬♬

    Well, I had a big help last year!
    My mother's youngest sister who is just 10 years older than me had an operation for lung cancer early last year. (She lives 1.30 minutes away from me.) She helped me a lot mentally when I was struggling with my bro's trouble even though she was after the surgery and in bad condition. I thought of her reading your post. She also has a strong will for living. I'll do what ever I can to help her, I think.
    Blessing to all of your family!!!
    Love and lots of Hugs to you, Orchid*

    PS> Bro'sservice went smoothly yesterday and feeling relieved, load off my mind now.
    And I can see my name for 'choose the identity' hope this will work!!!

  6. Sush, my heart goes out to all the brave people out there who are going through this - including your friend. Cancer is such a vile thing - it attacks young and old alike and shows no mercy.

    Jane, she tries to go about her life as if nothing is wrong and talks about things she is going to do someday. I think the fact that she thinks positive about the future is what has kept her with us for over a year now with Stage 4 brain cancer. She's fought a good fight.

  7. Thanks Orchid - I'm glad the service went well - you and your family are in my prayers.

    So happy that you are able to comment again on my posts. I changed the settings so that it would be easier to comment. Mike, on of my bloggy friends gave me some good advice on how to change it.
    Much love to you, my friend.

  8. I never know how to respond to a post like this. Visit with the sick and elderly as much as you can. You won't regret it.
    I only had one Grandparent (Granny) left when I was growing up. Often times I feel cheated, in a way.


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