George has been battling dementia for years, but his family finally decided that his care was too much for them to handle on their own. Lord, please allow my children the ability to chose my care wisely when the time comes.
Insert a blessing of mass proportions when home health sent Rebecca. She is a young woman that has a desire to make a difference in her patients and their family’s lives. She treated George with a type of care that you would see a daughter who was handling her elderly father’s needs.
She had issues of her own, but never allowed them to affect her performance while handling the care of her patients. Handling her three children along with the weaknesses of the others that provided much trust in her abilities had began to take a toll on her nerves. She reverted to an old nasty habit she had picked up from a high school sweetheart that she thought she would marry one day. When it seemed like things could only spiral downward, she would smoke a square from time to time.
It is said that a baby can sense the love from the parents involved even before they are able to crawl, walk or talk. George had come full circle in the realm of life and now was much like a newborn with every need being addressed by those around him. He could sense the sincerity while Rebecca was around even though he was knocking on deaths door with the bell man in the den nearest the entrance to the house.
Rebecca walked in to the two-bedroom house that smelled of a nursing home mixed with the old-fashioned wood paneling onlyfound in houses built pre 1970. Today she had three or four of those cancer sticks before starting the journey of her care forGeorge.
Even though he hadn’t spoken fluent sentences in nearly six months, George was very aware of his surroundings. Today he realized that Rebecca was far more stressed than anyone imagined. Her rent was due, but her youngest had been to the doctor five times in the past three weeks with a cold, flu, and sinus infection. The medication along with co-pays had drained her attitude as well as her bank account. As she entered the house only moments after she put the cigarette out in a clay pot on the front porch that housed potting soil from a plant that had died along with George’s wife years ago, the odor of “cowboy killers” filled the room.
But something clicked with George even if only for a brief moment. The smell of tobacco burning had brought back a flood of emotions and memories from a time that seemed like hundreds of years prior. In reality it had been a short thirty-fouryears that had passed from that hospital bed to the prime of George’s life.
Gas was $1.09 and you could buy a pack Marlboro Cigarettes for a little over one dollar in South Alabama. A farmer in his mid-forties had the crop of all crops. This was the harvest that would put him over the top. He would be able to put enough profit back to keep him floating above water for years ahead.
It was 1985 and Mel McDaniel had everyone talking about their baby with blue jeans on. George couldn’t help but smile when hearing those lyrics come across the dials on that old Ford farm truck. This was the gal that would approach heaven’s gates with his hand held close to her stomach. His business had exceeded expectations and this “hot” drug store clerk would be the cherry on top of the sundae.
Mr. McDaniel mentioned blue jeans and a baby but who would’ve thought with all that was going in George’s favor that his young lady would decide that she wanted to raise cattle instead of peanuts. The idea would throw George into a state of distress. The idea of her turning on him would nearly kill him. This was the type of heart break only seen on the hallways of a middle school when a note was passed with the words, “let’s just be Friends.”
George thought he would never love again. The pain from thisone “bad apple” would cause him to be bitter for the rest of his living years.
That reminder of the smell of smoke had come from his own rolled tobacco during these struggling times. He could remember tears from his mother’s eyes dampening the area around his single wide trailer on a rural county road. His mother cried for his heart break but also because she couldn’t handle the billows of smoke headed in her direction. He lit one after another until the papers and tobacco had run thin.
George screamed to Rebecca “Unanswered,” the only comprehendible words out of his mouth in months. He screamed the word over and over again.
The smell of smoke according to the story brought back a terrifying time in this elderly gentleman’s life. However, you would be amazed at the memories that surfaced for George with the smell of Rebecca’s habit: he is reading bible stories to his young daughter, he is chasing his son around the yard practicing roping calves and learning to play a guitar with his twelve-year-old son that will soon be a high schooler.
That smell in relation to the relationship with this young girl could have been detrimental, but George and his mother prayed for the Lord’s will in the situation. The Lord failed George or so he thought. The girl in the end did not become too fond of the peanut industry.
Those bedtime stories, roping practices, and guitar lessons proved “unanswered prayers” are just as important as the answered ones.