Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Home Again . . .

Home again
We've just returned from Michigan. We packed a lot into our time there. Of course our first priority was spending time with my sister. It was wonderful to be able to visit with her every day. I wouldn't be truthful if I didn't say that it was also very sad. She has been working very hard in her physical, occupational and speech therapies and is making progress. We are so thankful for that, but at the same time we know that it is going to be a long road to recovery. She is expected to be in the hospital for a few more weeks and then will move to a skilled care nursing facility to continue rehabilitation.

While we were in Michigan we also attended the graduation party of a relative on my husband's side. Their backyard was so pretty that I thought I would share a little bit of it with you. This pond had 2 waterfalls which made such a relaxing sound on a beautiful summer day.

Near the waterfall and pond was this bench. Wouldn't that be a relaxing spot to enjoy your morning coffee?

Most of our visits to my sister took place after dinner as she has a full schedule of therapy every day . One day we went to visit my husband's aunt and uncle. Aunt Barbara has always had a green thumb and a real flair for interior decorating too. She is now in her upper 70s, but that hasn't slowed her down in the least. I couldn't resist taking a few pictures around her gorgeous gardens.

We enjoyed glorious weather while in Michigan. People had their windows open and I found it heavenly to have the fresh air blowing throughout the house. We can't do that in the summer here in North Carolina unless we want to melt :-)

A relaxing spot to sit right outside their bedroom window.

One night while visiting my sister I took the page that I had attached the good thoughts and prayers from all of you. She is still only able to say a few words, but she indicated that she wanted me to read them to her. After I read them all and told her about you she pointed to her door. She has a metal door in her room where we put all of the notes, pictures, etc. that she wants to be able to look at. I knew she would be touched ~ and she was. Thank you again for your kindness.

My sister has always had a lot of friends. It was wonderful to be able to see and talk to so many of these friends while we were visiting. What a blessing to be surrounded by such positive people who care so much about you. Everybody I talked to feels confident that Norma will make a good recovery as she is such a determined person and has never been one to shy away from hard work. How nice to know that on this journey to recovery she will have so many people cheering her on.

This picture reminds me of the many, many times Norma & I sat in her beautiful yard and enjoyed a cup of coffee together while raising our boys. We both have 2 boys who are close in age. One of Norma's many talents is that she is a master gardener. She is one of those people that can do pretty much anything she sets her mind to.

I'm still struggling to understand why things like this happen to good people.

I guess there are just some things we aren't meant to understand.
There is one thing I do understand . . .
When these times happen, it sure helps to know that there are so many really good people in our world. For no matter how independent we may think we are, there are always going to be times when we need a hand to hold. Often when I was visiting my sister I would feel bad that I couldn't do more for her or I couldn't figure out what she was trying to say to me. But then she would put out her hand and I would hold it for a few minutes and know that maybe right now this form of communication is good enough. The words will come in time.

Well, I'd better sign off now. The laundry is calling my name. Once I get caught up on things here at home I will be stopping by to visit all of you again.


  1. It's nice to hear from you and seeing the beautiful photos. What a lovely garden! We're at least getting some good rains here in WNC and everything is green and lush this year. I'm glad you got to spend time with your sister. She sounds like a really sweet lady!

  2. Thank you for the beautiful garden pictures. We in the Midwest have enjoyed a wet and air-conditioner free summer over all.
    It was so nice to hear about your visit with your sister. I'm sure that seeing you was very good for her and that she enjoyed you very much.
    As long as we have these bodies, we will suffer all kinds of things. Wht else would induce us to want to let go of this life:)Christ suffered more than any of us; he understands our feelings.
    Don't mean to sound preachy.
    Have a good week trying to settle into home again.

  3. Hi Kim
    I am glad that you had such a good time with your sister. I'm sure it must be hard though watching her struggle. her garden is beautiful. Welcome back.
    Hugs, Rhondi

  4. Welcome home Kim. Oh, Michigan summers are so wonderful! So glad you got to spend time with your sis...just look how far she has come!! and will go further. Glad you are back.

  5. Welcome back! My family in MI say they haven't been able to use their pools or boats much this summer. The temp outside is ideal though.
    So glad you had a good visit with your sister. We don't understand why things happen but we can be there for those people when they go through the valley.
    The flowers and gardens are beautiful. I love the waterfalls.

  6. Sounds like a wonderful trip!! Thanks for sharing such lovely photos!!

    Sisters share a special bond and I'm sure being together if only for awhile was very beneficial to the both of you!!


  7. Kim, it's so good to get an update on your sister. I know it meant the world to her to have you there. Her gardens are absolutely beautiful. I hope that she can see them and it will help with her recovery.

  8. Kim, this is my first visit here, I found you through my friend Cynthia's...I added your sister to my prayer list. What a beautiful garden, your blog is just delightful! I'm having a give away on my blog, if you have time pop in.
    xo Lidy

  9. Oh Kim, what an absolutely beautiful post, and such a sweet and wonderful tribute to your sister, Norma.

    The garden areas you've shown are so beautiful! Everything in south Texas is brown......we need rain ....It's so nice to see green!


  10. So many beautiful gardens in your family. You ALL are great gardeners!!! All the pictures are gorgeous and I LOVE the water feature.

    Glad to hear Norma is making progress and that you got to spend time with her. She sounds like a real fighter!

    Take care and thanks for such a wonderful post.

  11. I'm sorry that things are so hard right now. It is a struggle to try and understand why. I am thankful that you have the Lord in your life to help you through this. Her yard is so beautiful. I'm glad you had some neat time together!

  12. This was such a beautiful, meaningful, sad, and yet encouraging post today. It is so good to have you back. You truly were missed! I thought about you often and about your sister and your times together. I can't imagine how it all felt for you. The picture that made me sad was the one of the two chairs where you and your sister sat while your boys played. All of the other pictures made me realize how talented your family members are, in the gardening department. What gorgeous flower beds and seating areas. Thank you for sharing your trip with us, and for sharing your thoughts and appreciation also. I will keep praying for you and Norma.

  13. Wonderful pictures. Who knew there were so many great gardens in my home state?

    I pray Norma makes great strides in her therapy. It's good to hear she's working so hard. Sounds like she has a strong spirit.

    Thanks for the pretty garden pics.

  14. Hi Kim!
    Welcome home. Thank you for sharing with us some highlights of yoru trip to Michigan. I was especially eager to hear about your time with Norma. So glad you enjoyed your time with her, albeit sad at times. I can't help but think of my own sister and how heartbreaking it would be to see her struggle in that way. You're right, it is sometimes hard to understand the "why's." So glad to hear her long term prognosis is a good one. I'll continue to keep her in my prayers in the weeks and months to come.

    Loved those beautiful garden photos!


  15. I'm so glad to hear an update Kim. I know Norma is making progress...slow and steady wins the race.....but your post made me incredibly sad for what your sister, and you are going through! Stay strong for her! Next summer she will be back in those chairs shaking her head in amazement at how wonderful life is.

  16. I know it is good to be home again. Your sister has a beautiful place to regain her strength. I am hoping only the best for her. Twyla

  17. Hello Kim. I really appreciated the comment you left on my blog I am able to visit YOU!

    I am so sorry about your sister. It is so difficult to see someone you love have the results of a stroke to deal with. I am so glad she is responding to her therapies. Stoke rehab. is a long, slow process. We had a neighbor, several years ago, who had a stroke at the age of 40. She had to relearn everything...crawling to walking and talking. However, she did make a full recovery..with lots of work and support from her family and friends.

    I loved reading your recent posts---you have a great gift for writing and your pictures are great. Dana

  18. Hi Kim,
    I'm glad to hear you had a good visit to Michigan. I'm sure your sister was so happy you were there with her. All the garden pictures are beautiful. Wish we had some of that cooler weather here.


  19. It was good to read your update on your sister...and I will continue to keep her in my prayers. We have no answers to the 'why' questions...but one day it will all be made clear. What an encouragement it must have been for her to have you offer support and hold her hand...and just be there.

    Beautiful pic's.


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