Mike no longer eats the pudding skin. He chokes on the skin now. So when I feed it to him, I carefully peel the firm top layer of the warm pudding away and take the softer, creamy goodness underneath it. Mike eats pudding pretty much every day. It is the perfect consistency. Anything thinner, like soup, is too thin; it slips down his throat without warning or goes down the wrong tube. Anything thicker is too difficult to swallow.A few bites of mashed potatoes and gravy once in a while, a little apples sauce here and there, a couple spoonfuls of ice cream or soft cheese when he craves something savoury and pudding. This is what he eats, and poor guy struggles with these. The rest of his calories get mixed in a blender and go in his feeding tube, straight to his stomach. Mike is determined to eat, and even though he probably shouldn’t, he isn’t ready to abandon his taste buds quite yet and I don’t blame him.
Eating is one of the great pleasures in life, and good food is a wonderful gift and a tremendous blessing. So, of course losing the ability to eat is terrible. Mike is taking it quite well though. I ask him what he would like to eat and he gives me a “let me think about it” look, and then we both laugh. His favourite foods like pizza, steak, fettuccini alfredo and BBQ ribs are a thing of the past and when we smell these foods, or see them or talk about them, the look on Mike’s face would say he lost a good friend.A few months ago, when Mike’s food selection was becoming more and more limited and we were both becoming more and more disappointed, I would visualize a banquet table laid out for him in heaven. The table covered with the most mouth-watering dishes imaginable. If we saw a big, fat, juicy hamburger advertised on TV, I’d tell him that it was going to be at his “big feast” as well.
It was very appropriate that a sermon preached this summer by our pastor and friend, Brad Warner was on this very subject. The sermon topic was on ‘hospitality’, but Brad spoke about the banquet table in heaven and he carefully described the scene in his usual compelling way. I loved hearing him describe the dinner, or party as he put it. It helped with my vision of Mike’s feast…a meal fit for a king! And of course, much better and far more important than the meal itself, is the presence of a King; Jesus Christ!These are some of the notes I scribbled down on a scrap piece of paper from Brad’s encouraging sermon: >‘Feast’ or ‘banquet’ is mentioned in the Bible over one thousand times, along with ‘food’ and ‘friends’. >Revelation 19 talks about the feast at the end. >Luke 14 talks about the banquet in heaven >The invitation goes out to everyone…all are welcome! >Have you trusted in Jesus? Are you going to the party? >Give your sin to Him and He will give you His salvation.
A couple of days later, my dear friend Carol, who lives in Vernon, B.C. ended an email with Song of Solomon 2:4: “He brought me to His banqueting table; His banner over me is love.” Wow, great friends think alike!Anyway, back to earth, here it is the season of fall already. Summer is over now, but won’t soon be forgotten. It was a beautiful summer! We experienced record heat and it was the driest summer in years. Our daily walks mostly took place in the evening when it was a bit cooler. Most nights the aroma of BBQ filled the air. Mike and I both agree; it’s surely the scent of heaven!
Mike getting his moneys worth with the condiments - winter Olympics in Vancouver 2010
A few summer pics:
Mike and Leah heading out for a walk
Madison and Mike at the dike. Madison has been back at university in Calgary for a few weeks now...she says she misses our walks together the most.
Out and about in Granddad's new van...a beautiful wheelchair van received as a gift from Mike's parents!
Leah and auntie Erin at the mall
Dad and daughter time! Mike hangs out with Madison and Erin while they get pedicures a week before they go back to school...Madison a student and Erin a teacher.
Pay back time! Erin gives Mike a pedicure.
Nathan and Leah on 224th out side the candy store while the six of us take a walk through town.
Soccer season begins (two weeks ago). Leah with Nathan - her dad and coach.