“At The Ballet” by Dianne H. Timmering

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6: 9-10

Last night, I took  my sister, Linda, my niece, Robyn and my great niece, Lola to the Nutcracker here in Louisville. I was late to the theatre and when I got there I saw Lola waiting (I had the tickets) and I shouted her name. She came running, and shouted back with tremendous joy, “Hi Di, I’ve missed you so much.” I picked her up and twirled her around in her beautiful glittery copper shoes and shining sequined dress. She couldn’t wait to go in, or for it to start, taking her own ballet classes herself where they live in Los Angeles.

We got her a booster chair so she was a real girl, in a real dress, watching a real show. She watched the ballet in its entirety, giving erudite and interesting assessments throughout the performance, wondering if the towering mice were bad, for example, who tried to steal the nutcracker mid-way through the show.

When the ballet ended we stood in union for the dancing artists who had performed with such eloquence and my sister, niece, and I turned around and not far behind us was the handicapped section. There they were in sophisticated wheelchairs, two beautiful young women with velvet dresses and warm covers. They could not move, abandoned by the utility of their arms and legs. I prayed so hard for an instant miracle, for them to know what it was like to stand and to twirl like the dancers on the stage. We prayed so hard that that could happen. Could deliberate prayer truly heal even the most forgotten? Just then, just at that moment?

And then I noticed their glowing smiles and effervescent skin, accented by young make-up, for they were burgeoning women after all. They gleamed with such beauty under the warmth of their fancy dresses; and they were happy. Their smile was their own stand of applause.

We live in a broken world, an often unjust and unfair one as well, but where joy comes still and can even live. Let us pray for these beautiful young girls to have lives beyond the chair, and for all those who suffer, to twirl beyond the constrictions of their illness and the strangles of pain. Let us pray for quantum hope and colliding miracles. Let us transform faith into the strength of standing, one for another, linked, because we believe, because heaven can live on earth. Let us twirl.

Love you all. Dianne

Dianne H. Timmering, MBA, MFA, CNA
Vice President of Spirituality
Signature Consulting Services, LLC

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“In Defiance Of Suffering: A CNA Reflection” by Dianne H. Timmering

“This is the Lord’s sign to you that the Lord will do what he has promised: I will make the shadow cast by the sun go back the ten steps it has gone down on the stairway of Ahaz.’” So the sunlight went back the ten steps it had gone down.” Isaiah 38:7-8

Day of Service . . . a rejuvenating encounter for many of us as we have heard from the home office army of givers during the last 12 days. It is an experience, one of identity, the power of stop, hold, look, see, step into another’s world, into the gray of deep eyes, gleaming or dull with wonder as to why this strange person is bending down or over into their wheel-chaired space of time.

I am a stranger to Ms. Margaret and she wonders if I am a new CNA on the floor and will be taking care of her today, tomorrow, the next one. Curious links of thought emit illuminating her cautious eyes which are vulnerable, considering, lost, tired, tender, frail, yet fruitful like a juicy berry of expectation. Hope fills with nectar. Because I see her; and she sees me. And we connect through a thousand peals in the pierce of a second and trust comes, because it must, because today I am her caregiver.

In truth, I am only assisting her primary care giver, Karen, a dedicated CNA filled with such patience and integrity of skill and deliberate intent of good, that I wonder if I do my day to day job as well as she commits to the quality of purpose she gives whether she is making a bed to perfection, offering dining assistance, or helping a resident ambulate to the toilet. Karen is a seven year veteran, and I am inspired by all that she is; I am inspired by the way God made her. I watch her and I try to be like her.

She instructs me and I do exactly what she tells me—to help feed Ms. Margaret, a 1950s local Ms. County beauty queen whose fingers won’t do what she is telling them to do. Mine can help. I gently unfold her slender hand and tuck her weak fingers round the enlarged handle and she takes a bite of peas—one bite and then those tendrils close again. The spoon falls. Applesauce I notice styles the corner of her thin lips; we dab at her mouth with the open napkin; she smiles.

I am struck by her confidence in me, that I will try hard, that I will know what to do. What a burden on the both of us.

But we try together and we communicate and trust builds with the best intent and patience of mind even when there is also something do at the next bedside, next door, in the next room. We engage and I ask her a question about the picture on her night stand—it is her son whom she loves. He lives in another state. She misses him. I tell her I am sorry. She wets a tear; we share the compassion of need tender at the intersection of colliding hearts.

A renewed pulse of energy strikes me like the unwearied sun on that first spring morning and I realize what we are doing and why we are doing it—radical change to the essence of aging; what better mission on any corporal plain. Suffering loneliness, chronic pain, body abandonment, sorrowful days, heavy sickness that some of our people are forced to wear and yet still they smile when we step into their presence of time. It is beyond a feeling, it is a knowing of purpose for both of us. To live. To really live.

Signature HealthCARE—a movement in the defiance of suffering.

Love to all.

Dianne H. Timmering, MBA, MFA, CNA
Vice President of Spirituality
Signature Consulting Services, LLC

“77” by Dianne H. Timmering

“Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4

Today is my mother’s 77th birthday or it would be if she were still with us. Two “7”s. The blessings of the number 7– the power of the promise of restoration-sevenfold. But what does it mean?

The number 7 is predominant throughout the bible and is symbolic for Completion, Perfection, Restoration, Fullness. So I have spent the morning contemplating the truths of these numbers and the deliberate intent of the message. I miss her so and in fact when I was cooking turkey last Thursday she was sitting with me on the metal red stool and telling me what to do with such clarity that I even got the salt pinches right. She is active and well in heaven because on earth in her Parkinson’s laden body she was imprisoned like a “walking dead.”

She shows up again today and it is good to be with her and she is telling me something again and that to share with each of you to fully occupy your time and space; do something in it, and with it. Don’t waste a breath or a moment of fear on not doing something or not saying something. Step into your divine call and say what you need to say to whom you need to say it. Rest in your divine passion of restless dreams and stir filtered hopes so that the fullness of the prayer, want, and desire of heart can be. Step into your own world of life so that on the seventh day there is rest and no time wasted and fullness of being. Shimmy the lock off the bonds of complacency, self-restraints, idleness, and rage.

Two “7s” . . . double the restoration. Yield to the possible; complete yourself. Be full.

Dianne Timmering, MBA, MFA, CNA
Vice President of Spirituality
Signature Consulting Services, LLC