This morning I read about the death of one of my most remembered college professors……Martha Grace Green. Tiny little Mrs. Green was a powerhouse as she taught speech to hundreds of students over the years. We quickly learned not to underestimate her due to her size, for behind that small stature was a take-charge woman who taught us the proper way to give a speech……and to speak – (NEVER say each and every!!!)…….and also to live. For at the beginning of each and every class…..so sorry, Mrs. Green!…….the entire class recited Psalm 118:24. “This is the day which the Lord has made; we shall rejoice and be glad in it.”
Many memories of Martha Grace were coursing through my mind this morning as I went about my routine, getting ready to drive Aaron to meet his day group. I wasn’t at all surprised to hear Aaron knock on my locked bedroom door as soon as I got out of the shower. Aaron often stands outside my bedroom door when it’s locked, knocking and waiting on me to let him in. He will sometimes stand out in the hall for many minutes, as he did this morning, while he waits for me to open the door.
When I finally opened the door this morning, there stood Aaron, holding onto the two sides of the hallway wall with both hands, arms outstretched. “Mom,” he said. “I’m dizzy!” He then proceeded to walk inside my bedroom to follow me as I got ready to dry my hair. However, he was having a very difficult time staying upright. He was more than a little dizzy. He was flat out very dizzy, leaning to one side and then the next as he tried to steady himself. He held on to my dresser and then to the bathroom door as he followed me.
I knew right away what this severe dizziness was. His Epilepsy doctor recently increased one of his seizure drugs, a new one that Aaron has been on for a couple months. The doctor had told me that the most common side effect is dizziness. I had hoped that we wouldn’t see anything of significance with Aaron, but my hopes were dashed as I watched Aaron try to walk back to his room…….looking like a drunken sailor.
I made sure he was safely in his room, sitting at his desk watching a movie, and I returned to my bathroom to dry my hair. As soon as I finished, I heard Aaron again. This time I looked and found him crawling up the hall. Yes, he was crawling up the hall and into my bathroom like a baby on all fours. Poor Aaron! It made me so sad to see him like that. He lay on my bathroom floor, wondering why he was dizzy. He listened to me explain about the side effect of the increased dose of his new seizure drug. He was satisfied that he was experiencing a side effect……relieved that it wasn’t his movie that was making him dizzy.
Eventually Aaron crawled back up the hall and into his bedroom, where I helped him into his bed. “I wish I didn’t take that pills,” he said. “I just wish I could take my other pills.” My heart hurt for Aaron. He dozed a little and I hoped that he would sleep off the dizziness and return to normal when he was awake. I knew that he couldn’t go to his day group like this, so I notified them that Aaron would be staying home. I called his doctor to report the situation and to see what he wanted Aaron to do. And as I finished getting myself ready, I was mentally rearranging my day. At this time of year especially, but really every day, I have my routine figured out for each day. I know what I will do when I drop Aaron off to meet his group……what I will do first, second, third, etc. I try to make the wisest use of my time as well as the wisest way to save gas as I plan what to do when. What will I do today because I can’t do it tomorrow……because tomorrow is also planned out……and the day after that…..
The side effects of Aaron’s medicine today that showed up in his body also showed up in my schedule, and in my planning, and in my LIFE. Which brought me to the point of remembering Mrs. Green and then inwardly smiling as I made myself quote her life verse once again. “This is the day which the Lord has made; we shall rejoice and be glad in it.”
I shall rejoice and be glad in it, I told myself. A little change in my routine is no big deal. I can readjust, reschedule, rethink, and be just fine. Some days it isn’t so easy, granted, but today I can…..and I will……and I really have to…..just stop and be glad in it. So as I put away mounds of folded laundry that I had set aside for too long……and cleaned both bathrooms……and talked to Aaron when he stirred…..I kept repeating Psalm 118:24. I kept telling myself to heed its message…..to not complain or sigh…..but to rejoice and be glad in it.
IN it…..no way around it or under it or over it. IN the situation I was to rejoice. And that included poor Aaron going to the bathroom after I had thoroughly cleaned his toilet and the floor……and finding myself on my hands and knees cleaning up an even bigger mess, with dear Aaron telling me he was sorry. Dizziness and going to the bathroom when you’re a man don’t mix very well.
Aaron is better now. The doctor’s office called with new dosage instructions. The bathroom is clean again. Aaron even got some Sonic for lunch!
I am better, too. Better for having learned years ago a most valuable lesson from Martha Grace Green. She had no idea…..or maybe she did……of the many ways that her many students would use that life verse in our own lives. I certainly never dreamed that I would be helping my 30 year old special needs son crawl up the hall to his bed on the morning I learned of Mrs. Green’s death……and had her life verse repeating in my head over and over, giving me great encouragement. I never imagined that this would be my life when I was a young college girl sitting in Mrs. Green’s speech class.
But Martha Grace had lived enough life to know that all of her students needed to have one thing ingrained in our heads when we left her class. God has made each of our days to be what they are, and we are to rejoice and be glad in each and every one. Sorry again, Mrs. Green!
“This is the day which the Lord has made; I shall rejoice and be glad in it.”
Thank you, Mrs. Green. Somehow you knew.
|Martha Grace Green with her son, Steve