At the same time my husband was caring for his ailing father in his home. Our own home sat empty for much of that time. Occasionally we would hire a sitter for Mom and go “home” for a few hours. (NOTE: Respite care is absolutely vital for care-givers. If you can provide it, please do!)
I joked that Adron and I were separated. Madly in love still, but separated. Humor. It goes a long way in making rough roads navigational.
Mom died in March; my father-in-law died in June. A and I were once again a couple, in the same house. Sounds idyllic doesn’t it? (That’s a whole other story: How To Learn to Be a Couple Again.)
So we’re living in the same house all the time once again and I see how the years of sedentary life have affected us both. How the lifting and carrying had further damaged A’s health. (30+ years as a coal miner = bulging, herniated, and protruding discs in all regions of his spine. Knees with little to no cartilage left between bones. And the inevitable Black Lung in EVERY long-term working face miner.)
A got through the days by using ice packs and several hours of lying down, feet up. He was always in pain. His doctor had prescribed the typical pain management regimen, but by then the opioid crisis was a daily national news item and the thought of addiction SCARED us BOTH to death! (Let me just inject here that people in pain are CRABBY. Hard to live with. There were days when I just wanted to shout, “Take a pill!)
I was willing to be his care-giver when the time came. And as I saw that becoming a very real possibility, I began to pray earnestly that God would send the answer for A’s health. I confess I didn’t really have much faith that there WAS an answer. I had seen his medical records. I had heard his doctor’s prognosis. But I trust God implicitly. I clung to various scriptures:
Matthew 7:11 – If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?
John 10:10 – The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
God did answer. But it was not at all what I expected. I was praying for a miracle! I knew this! I thought what I was asking for would require an earth-shattering, sky blazing, healing experience. All very possible for our omnipotent Heavenly Father!
The answer came so subtly that I almost missed it. A former student, Jessica, had just out of the blue contacted me while Mom was still living, asking me to teach a few art lessons to her Girl Scout troupe. While wear and tear on my hands had made making art no longer an option for me, I needed time with other humans for my sanity. I got a sitter. I taught the classes.
After their badge was completed, Jessica and I stayed in touch. She started sharing about oils! As in Essential Oils. Hocus Pocus I was sure! But I was so starved for girl company that when she offered to come let me see, smell, and learn about her precious oils, I said yes.
She put one drop of Peppermint on one of my big ole red knuckles. And a miracle happened! Again, I was too dumb to fully comprehend all that she had said:
Young Living is the only essential oil company with the Seed to Seal Guarantee.
Unless essential oils are grown, harvested, distilled, processed, and bottled correctly, their therapeutic value is diminished or nonexistent. Young Living is the ONLY company that controls the oils from the SEED to the SEAL.
So when she said
“The best way to get started with essential oils is to get a premium starter kit. It’s half off and comes with a lifetime, no fees ever, wholesale membership.” all I heard was “It’s $160.00 to get started.”
Jessica went home and I marveled at how my hands felt. And being the good steward I am (ha!) I went to amazon and ordered peppermint and lavender “essential” oils. Prime membership is the bombdiggity and I had them in my hot little hands in two days. And all they did for me was give me a headache! What’s up with that?!
The peppermint smelled like the gum I like, but there was no change in how my knuckles felt when applied. The lavender smelled like the bottles of cooking oil I had cleaned out of Mom’s long neglected cabinets. Rancid. Yuckky. Nothing like what Jessica had let me sniff.
As I prayed that night, again asking God to intervene for A, it was like He said, “I sent you the answer.” So began my research into the differences in essential oils and essential oil companies. And about a week later, I ordered my very own Premium Starter Kit.
A didn’t mind when I diffused them in the nice diffuser that came in the kit, but he didn’t want anything put on his back. Because… well, we were both skeptical. Indoctrinated in western medicine.
Since his feet hurt ALL the time he was happy for a foot massage. I started applying Peppermint and PanAway on his feet and massaging in with a carrier oil. I did that for about a month every time he was horizontal, feet up.
One morning as he came down the hall he said, “Peg, I feel my feet! I mean the burning and tingling is gone and I can actually feel the carpet!” Second miracle!
I spent a lot of time at the National Institutes of Health, Google Scholar, and similar research driven sites. I ordered Sacred Frankincense. A was becoming a believer and let me start putting it on his spine 2 – 3 times a day.
That was in the fall. We got very purposeful about not only using the oils in the Starter Kit, but others as I learned about them. Then we started using the supplements. And by spring we were both healthy enough to begin tearing down the old house I had grown up in. Board by board so that we could salvage them. Where 6 months before I couldn’t hold a pencil or paint brush for more than 5 minutes, I was able to swing a hammer and pry bar. I could grip, hold, and carry boards all day long. A miracle. An answer to prayer. And A was right there too, doing all the harder things. All. Day. Long. MIRACULOUS!
Isn’t God awesome?