Early to bed, early to rise

I peek through the doorway and see her on the bed, covered with a white cotton blanket. She lies still, curled up in the fetal position.

I touch her shoulder. “Are you awake?” Soft breathing is the reply.

Sitting carefully on the edge of the bed, I lean over and gently stroke her back. Her curly salt and pepper hair peeks out above the warm blanket. She sleeps deeply – in the late morning.

Late morning? What would my mother say about that?

It just seems like just the other day that Mum was trying to get me up for school.

“Denise, it’s time to get up.”

Ten minutes later she’d climb the stairs again.

“Denise, now! You’re going to be late for school!”

At least that’s the story she told me. You see, I never heard her. But when I ran down the stairs  clothing askew, dropping books in my wake, with only two minutes to get ready, demanding to know why she hadn’t woken me up… Well, that’s the story she told me, every time!

Mum is a morning person. “Early to bed. Early to rise.” I look at the bed. Well, at least she was.

Let’s journey together.

© 2011 Denise Budd Rumble

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My Words in a Book

A couple of weeks ago I received my long-awaited boxes of books.

I reached in and carefully brought one out. It was pristine. The cover was shiny with no finger marks. Gently I opened the book.

The very first page began three pages of testimonials – remarks from folk who read the Advanced Reading Copy (ARC). They used words and phrases like “wonderful writing, honest, personal, compelling, comforted, encouraged, soul-stirring, modern classic, inspiring reality, live out their faith, humour, struggle, romance, courage, heartache, ultimately hope, from real life to flights of fancy, hug from heaven for a friend, vulnerable, finely-honed stories, fresh evidences of God’s grace” – and those words are only a few from the first page.

Humbled I turned to the next page. It read:

              This book is dedicated to

             Raymond and Lois Nelles

     in tribute to their exceptional support

    of Canadian writers who are Christian

Then the title page:

          A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider

          Words to Stimulate the Mind and Delight the Spirit
                                      Edited by
                                            N. J. Lindquist
                                      Wendy Elaine Nelles
                               That’s Life! Communications

Another page-turn. I perused the copyright page.

The Table of Contents was opposite. I read from the top down. Second line from the bottom I saw, Surviving with a Woman of a Certain Age by Denise Budd Rumble. Here I paused.

I wrote my first book at the age of seven. It was a mystery. I was the main character who solved the mystery. My dolls and teddies loved it.

I’ve been writing ever since. And, I’ve kept just about everything I’ve ever written – short stories; articles; columns; news; book reviews; a recipe book; children’s book manuscripts – along with every rejection slip, most of them with encouraging words hand written on the form letter; and on and on.

No, I didn’t only receive rejection slips. I have a lot of publishing credits to my name – more than enough to achieve professional membership in The Word Guild, a Canadian organization for writers and editors who are Christian.

To this point in time, my published work has appeared in a variety of newspapers and magazines, but this was the first time my words nestled between the covers of a book. And, yes, the book is an anthology. And, yes, only one chapter contains my words. And, yes, being published in newspapers and magazines is important and fulfilling.

But, there’s a little more to this story – the story of these words in a book…

Let’s journey together.

© 2011 Denise Budd Rumble

Want to go on a trip? Part Two

Someone has actually asked me to go on a trip. But, I’m a little hesitant…

You see, I don’t know where we’re going. The person explained that the whole idea of this journey is surprise – in other words, I’ll know where we are when we get there; I’ll know what we’re going to do when we’re doing it.

In my earlier post, I talked about traveling with someone who you really want to be with, someone you enjoyed spending time with even if you were just sitting quietly together, someone who you trusted with your deepest, darkest secrets. So, I guess that’s what this journey boils down to – do I trust this person enough to just go?

I’ve known this person practically my whole life; you could say we grew up together, although there is an age difference. My friend knows all about me, the good, the bad, the ugly and everything that I want to forget. As a matter of fact, my friend has a lot of experience with people and hasn’t led anyone astray.

So, why don’t I trust? I love this person. I want to spend more time together. I would love to go on a mystery trip.

What’s holding me back? It’s not the money. It’s not responsibilities. My husband thinks it’s a wonderful idea. Hmm, maybe there is one thing. I would have no control. All control would be in the hands of my friend.

And, there’s the snag. Am I willing to relinquish control to a trusted friend, to someone who loves me no matter what, to an ally who always has my best interests at heart, to a companion who has never led me astray? Seems kind of silly when I lay it out like that, doesn’t it!

Actually, there is someone who invites all of us on a journey – a journey planned specially for each of us, tailored to our individual personalities. It’s a journey planned for us before we were born, by the person who formed us, our Creator.

A pre-planned journey. An itinerary tailored especially for you. A trusted Guide and Friend who knows what is best for you. A Companion who loves surprising those He loves with gifts of beauty and joy and more.

I’ve decided. I’m going to continue on this exciting and amazing trip!

Let’s journey together.

© 2011 Denise Budd Rumble

Want to go on a trip?

If someone asked you to go on a trip with them, would you go?

Many of us would want to know more details. Where are we going? How long will it take? What will the weather be like? What will we do? How much will it cost?

Plus there’s the whole issue of whether or not we want to spend that much time, all at once, with that individual. Some friendships only thrive because the people involved see each other only twice a year. Others are successful because the friends only meet over the phone, by email, or on Facebook. Actually living with someone for more than a couple of hours can be interesting, fun, tiring, challenging, boring after the first four hours, and more. But, with some folks, if you want to remain friends, you’d best not spend too much time together, and sometimes not even be your real self.

Then there are those friends who no matter how much time you spend together it’s just not enough—someone who you are comfortable with regardless of whether you’re laughing, catching up on each other’s lives, debating a thorny issue, sharing deepest feelings and concerns, or just sitting quietly in the same room. There are some people whose company you sincerely enjoy and seek out, who accept you the way you are, and with whom you are comfortable enough to be your real self, wrinkles, bulges, grey hair and all.

So, let’s say the person who asked you to go on the trip is someone you really want to spend time with. What if that friend said, “I’m not going to give you any details. I want you to trust me.”

Would you go?

Let’s journey together.

2011 Denise Budd Rumble

Buffeted by the wind

I step outside and the wind runs up to meet me. The strong breeze cools me as I walk around my garden – I am, after all, a woman of a certain age.

Green grass is soft beneath my feet as I inspect our rock garden. Hardy perennials, aggressive in their ownership of the space, flourish. Their greens and pinks nod as I pause to look. Spindly annuals cannot compete at this early stage of summer, but I know they will lose their shyness as the days pass and they grow into their space.

Stronger now, the breeze, almost wind, pushes me towards our row of bushes. The row is a medley of colour, size, shape and variety. This year it is looking a little wild – and I like it that way. I know that a discussion of neat and orderly, initiated by hubby, surely looms on the horizon.

The wind nudges me along the row. I marvel at the unique shape and shade of each bushes’ leaves.

Tiny pink petals make up a larger flower with flowery webs and spikes adding to the difficulty of describing such beauty.

My eyes become teary, but it is not the wind’s fault. The beauty of Almighty God’s creation overwhelms me. The scenery blurs. But the wind pushes me on. The wind. Pushes me on.

How tempting it sometimes is to pause, to stop, to stay too long in one place. Beauty, comfort, a familiar unchanging rut. But the wind of the Holy Spirit pushes me on. Pushes me to new experiences. Propels me forward through unwanted change. Prods me to do kindness and patience and loving over and over again. Patiently reminds me to go to the Source of my life – to converse and listen and “be” in the circle of His care and love. Puts me in a place of light and water so I can grow into the Creation He wants me to become.

Buffeted by the Wind – not a bad place to be.

Let’s journey together.

© Denise Budd Rumble 2010

Reality of no time or space

There is a place of no time with no boundaries of space or place. It is a place where one can be young and old. New jobs and old, loved ones long gone from this earth and new friends – all mingle together in a cacophony of emotions and goings on.

It is a place where thinking and worrying and turning a problem over and over in one’s mind for days, sometimes weeks, brings about a concrete solution – a concrete “thing” – so that the worry passes and action ensues.

One can enjoy their children as young needing care, and as grown with spouses and children of their own. One can converse about the every day, the new job of a child or grandchild, the upcoming journey, the course of a school year, and about the present daily happenings of a parent long passed into glory.

There is no time continuum. There are no boundaries. Imagination becomes reality. There are no limits to the realization of our fondest dreams and longings.

This place is called “dementia brought on by small blood vessel disease.”

As the child I watch as my mother lives her days in a morphed combination of past and present. For now she is in a happy place and I pray it stays so.

She and I converse. “How are you doing?” she asks.

“I’m well, Mum. Busy with my job – but it’s good.”

“And your hubby – is he enjoying his semi-retirement? How about the children?”

And I wonder how old she thinks “the children” are, but she continues and asks if my youngest is finished university yet, and I realize that for this moment she is very much in the present and in tune with my reality.

She listens to my answers and then continues, “I talked to my Mam this morning. She was wondering when I’d be able to come home…”

And so in the exhale of a breath she is years and continents away, but every bit in her present and her reality as I am.

Let’s journey together.

© Denise Budd Rumble 2010

Wait! It's just a new look.

Please don’t go. You are in the right place.

Yes, it looks different, but I wasn’t “feeling” the look of my blog anymore. You see the previous header had a beautiful ocean view. It was wide and open and beautiful, and you could see for miles. But, these days I feel like I can’t see very far ahead of me.

I haven’t travelled this particular road before – this road of dementia. I feel like I’m in a tunnel and I can’t see if there’s any light at the end of it. In fact, I can’t even see far in front of me, let alone the end of the tunnel.

The tunnel has a lot of twists and turns. Sometimes it feels like my car is the only one in the tunnel. I’m behind the wheel, but I’m not in control. But, neither is the dementia in control.

Regardless of the twists and turns, the unknowns and the potholes, I know that God is with me. He holds my hand. He knows where we’re going. He knows the tunnel and will help me navigate it safely. The journey may be bumpy and frightening at times. But then I remember, I’m not alone. And, neither is my Mum.

So, we carry on, you and I. Each of us on our journeys. Sometimes our paths will cross. Other times we’ll cheer each other on, because support and encouragement fuel us so we can continue our journey.

Let’s journey together.

© Denise Budd Rumble 2010

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