Words In Sand

I was thinking about a story in scripture today. It always resonated with me, because of the profound message which the Lord was trying to convey. And when I see people trying to act ‘all religious,’ I immediately think of the woman caught in adultery.

I absolutely loath many portrayals of Jesus, since they take away from His most human side. Yes, He was God in the flesh, but the flesh, is the part that intrigues me most. He was the example. And if He didn’t go around acting superior and holier than anyone, why should we?

Today, someone was telling me about a teenager’s phone calling him, accidentally. This is a person, who goes to church all the time and loves to talk about the misdeeds of everyone else.  They said, “he had such a potty mouth. His friend and him, were talking and I could hear them cursing. I just thought it was terrible. Meanwhile, I know this person is just as bad. Him and the other person, had recorded the call and played it to each other, and talked about the whole episode, as if it was an unforgivable offense. Now he thought, I would agree, that this was just horrible.

I looked at him and said, “You know, it’s not the outside of a cup that makes it clean.” Reading the discourse in Matthew 23, is a picture of the anger, which Christ had at this hypocrisy. He speaks to the blind leaders. The inside is what needs to be clean. Then the outside will follow.

This guy, just didn’t get it. He stared at me with a blank look. I was pointing out that this is not significant, since none of us are perfect. Without calling him out too much, I hoped he understood, that I wasn’t saying, “Oh who care’s if the kid was cursing?” But  my bigger question was, “Why were you listening? Isn’t that an invasion of his privacy? And then you recorded and played it for someone else?”

Then the natural story that came to my mind was, the woman in found in the Book of John 8. When I read, there are always certain words that seem to pop out at me. For example; v3 standing the woman before a group, was humilitating enough. But being caught, in the act of adultery, even more. Imagine this woman’s circumstances. The punishment for this sin was, death by stoning.

But isn’t this what these men wanted to do to her? Flaunt their superiority and decimate her character. And in the end, have the grounds to end her life. But it begs the question, how did they actually catch her in the act? If, they had not been spying on her first?

Ah yes, the argument today would be for the sake of having the proof to accuse her. But now, look at what the Lord does with this information. H bends down and starts to write on the ground with his finger. How odd. Yes, most people would ask, “Why was He doing this?” But to some of us, we wondering, what was He writing?”

I think that He may have outed,  some of those people, without giving names. Perhaps He wrote their, secret sins, in the sand. But the most obvious, was His calm demeanor, during this whole situation. I am impressed with the time He took to respond. It seems, a great deal of time. And He took a break from His writing. He straightened up,  to utter the famous words; Let any one of you who is without sin, be the first to cast the stone.” This is when He stooped down again.

So, it seems He began His preliminary message, and He stood at eye level to the people He was addressing. And this also allowed the best vantage point, along with the group, read His writing. But then he gave them more time and it may be, to include more of the members. He stooped down to write again, which seemed to give the maximum amount of impact.

Now in verse 8;  At this those who heard, began to go away, one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there.” This is when He asked her, “Has no one condemned you?” She answers, “No one sir.”  “Then neither do I condemn you.” But the last words to her were, “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

I think about the message of redemption in this story. Condemned to die, because of her sin. The enemy of our soul, is called, “The Accuser.” One of his many titles. And he works through humans to constantly remind us of where we screwed up. What we’ve done wrong. How far we’ve missed the mark.

But Christ came to shed His blood as an offering on our behalf. This sacrifice is the greatest gift of love. His blood has, “cleansed us from all sin.

Our sins are like those words, written in the sand. The Wind of Truth, had blown and the sand shifts. It fills in all those areas of darkness and words that condemn.

He cannot lie. He has already told us, “That as far as the east is from the west, I will remember your sins no more.” This always fascinates me. We are human, and although we try to forgive, we can’t really ever forget. It’s not possible. But for God, it is. So, as I’ve heard it said, “if He’s forgotten, why do we keep reminding Him?”

This is the time of the year to reflect on the awesomeness of His sacrifice and what it really means. Passover, Resurrection Day. It is all about Redemption.

Thank you Lord for your great mercy!

The End of the Beginning

Yesterday I was praying about a decision to send my mother back to her home of Wisconsin.

She tells me over and over again, that she’s homesick. But something which she said to the visiting nurse, pained me. I had never heard her say this before. When the nurse asked her a question, she came out with her usual, “Well, I’m not from here. I’m from Wisconsin. I love Wisconsin. That’s where I want to die. She quickly corrected herself, when she said, “Well, I want to live there too.”

But like a jury at a trial, it was already out. I heard it, and it was like a stab in my heart. Of course, I know it is an inevitable end to our journey, however, with her, it is never spoken. Until now.

As I walked out the door with the nurse, she said, “Do you think she’ll really go back?” “I began to tear up. “Well, it’s what she wants, but I can’t see her being able to care for herself. Believe me,” I said, “if I was a wealthy woman, I would put her in a little place of her own, with someone to care for her. Just so she could go back.” As I looked at the nurse, I could see she had tears in her eyes too. She had lost her mother years before, so I think we shared a common understanding of this sorrow. Watching the decline of her own mother sounds difficult. She had a nurse coming in as well.

She argued with me yesterday that she could do all the things I do for her. There is no need of me to help her in any way. I asked her if she felt she could stand on a stool to clean windows, clean the pool carry loads of laundry up and down the stairs, and make the meals. “Well, I wouldn’t have a pool!” She said, as if I was completely daft. I thought that was so hilarious. But I said,”Mom, I wouldn’t want you trying to cook and do laundry. It’s not safe. But she insisted that she needed no help. “I need to do what I can do,” she said. “Yes, I know this is true. But the issue is, that she really can’t do a lot.”

And this hurts me more than she understands. I was reminded of this today. I knew that I was going to have to make suggestions about personal issues with her.I wanted to be very delicate with her. I don’t want to embarrass her about anything, because she is so stubborn.

I went up to get her laundry and bed linens. When I had come downstairs, I decided to do her laundry, and thought, this may be a good time to have a talk. As I tried to be as sensitive as I could possibly be, I suggested some items, when I went out to the store. I couldn’t believe that she agreed so willingly. She almost seemed to be relieved.

But I left the house with mixed feelings about the whole discussion. I had hugged her and told her how much I loved her. She hugged me back and told me she loved me too. I said, “I never want to make you feel uncomfortable or embarrass you, mom. I just want to help you.” She had seemed more like a little girl than ever before.

I guess I wasn’t prepared for her to be so accepting of this change. Every little bit of independence she loses, she fights. So, I was surprised at this. And I felt pain. I wondered at why I found myself crying, as I headed to the store. I realized that this was exactly how emotional I was when I weened my children. After breast-feeding, I knew it was time to switch them to supplement bottles. And when they so quickly responded to a bottle, I was totally unprepared at their willingness to replace me with plastic.I had secretly hoped that they wouldn’t want that ‘false sense of security.’ I was so attached, that this seemed too easy for them to just, ‘let go.’ I realized that the failure of my mother to fight me, represented the same. It wasn’t  her letting go that was so hard, but me.

So today, I feel different about trying to relocate her. A friend pointed out that, my mother is just remembering life as it was 10 or 20 years ago. If she went back it would be miserable for her.He is so right. She talks about all of her friends, back in Wisconsin, but she really doesn’t have anyone.

She has three sister’s. One passed away last year. The other one lives in Arkansas. The other two, live in northern Wisconsin. But one of them has Alzheimer’s and doesn’t recognize anyone.And her youngest sister, lives with her husband. And even she sold her house, to move into smaller accommodations.

I get angry with my family sometimes. I ask the Lord, “Why must I have a ringside seat, to this whole process, with my mother’s most difficult stage of her life.” But then He reminds me of all of the other events I had experienced, with her. I have the most compassion, when it comes to this, and I see that it was not by coincidence, that she’s ended up in my home.

The Lord knew that I was the one appointed for this time. I see this clearly. But it hurts on a daily basis. I felt to keep her with me is denying her last wishes, in her life. Yet, in my more pragmatic moments, I know that it’s quality of life which counts. And there is no quality at all,  if she was live, all alone in a little apartment. If I can’t get her to leave the house now, at least she has my children, my brother, me, and some people coming and going.

A friend told me, I should get an apartment for seniors. Take her on a little plane ride. Come back here, and place her in the apartment right down the street. Tell her she’s in Wisconsin and spray some frost on the windows. She’ll be happy as a clam. I said, “Yea, maybe she won’t notice if the front door opens and there are palm trees out front.”

The thought of that made me laugh. Then I remembered a song I used to hear on Christian radio, years ago. I just can’t remember who did it. If some knows, please tell me the title.

A man was bedridden, in a nursing home. He had no visitors, but one man who would come. He would ask him to describe what he saw out the window. The man would tell him all about the little children playing tag. Jumping rope and kids games. The people strolling by and the beautiful trees and flowers. Birds singing and the wonderful sunsets.

One day he came to visit and the room was empty. His friend had passed away. He walked over to the window to open the drapes. There in front of the window was a red brick wall.

At the end of the song, a new person was in the room, and the man sat beside the person describing the same beauty as before.

That song, always left me emotional. I see the power of the mind and the need to hold on to all that is good and alive. This is what I see my mother doing. I want to help her with those memories. I know the Serenity Prayer, and I was told that this would be good in this situation with my mother. “God help me accept the things I cannot change. The courage to change the things I can. And the wisdom to know the difference.”

I remember the beginning, with my mom and I’m with her now, in the sunset of her life. I will remind her of the children playing, the birds and beautiful trees and flowers. Because on the other side of, that brick wall, those things really do exist. Because the end of the beginning, is really the true beginning!

I’m just asking for your prayers, for the wisdom and strength I need, for this time in her life and mine.

Full of Blarney! That’s my mom.

Yea, I said, ‘blarney, not to be confused with Barney, the purple dinosaur. She’s still got that sparkle in her eyes.

I look at my mom and think of everything she’s been through, but she still has that quality, which she’s seemed to pass down’ self-effacing humor. Nothing seems to bother her and she’ll do anything for the sake of a laugh. I love this about her.

At times she is so stubborn, I can barely handle it, and then I find myself laughing with her over the silliest things. She will go right along with my humor, since, between her and my father, I inherited this.

It was passed down to my son as well. I have to tell him that his humor is very sick, at times.. I can only predict it will become more so, as he ages and endures hardship.

Since my mom doesn’t do much, but watch tv, I find myself critiquing the commercials and programs, with her throwing in her own quips.

For example, there’s an ad for an Injury Attorney. These girls say, “You can tell Robert anything. If you have an accident, Call Robert.” This continues for quite a while, and at the end they sing, a horrible jingle, “You can tell Robert anything!” It’s so funny. When my mom starts complaining, I say, “Tell Robert!” At this she cracks up. My son came into the room and said, “I’m calling Robert to tell him, my colon is inflamed!” I said, “Go ahead, “You can tell Robert anything!”

I get a visual of some poor secretary answering, Robert’s phone. And explaining that this is an attorney’s office. “Yes, but I need someone to talk to and your ad states, “That I can tell Robert anything.”

My mom is still talking about her visit to my home. “I don’t live here!” She insists. “I’m from Wisconsin!” Ok, she’s on a 2 year visit. Her mail comes here and all her doctor’s, etc. Anyone who lives with an aging parent, probably deals with this.

I wonder who she would have to sit and joke about all the shows, if I wasn’t with her. My son’s relationship to her alone, is more than she’s had in the past. People may have come and gone from her home, but she never had this social interaction.

When I hear her blabbing away to my brother, with special needs, I really laugh. I sent him on a trip for a few day, and she was so excited when he returned. She has a buddy who is always present. Yet, I am amazed at their conversation. At times they are discussing two different things, and neither one seems to notice. They’ve gotten into arguments about things and that makes me laugh even more. My brother is pretty mild-mannered, but my mom can even annoy him!

Of course, he loves living here, so when she goes into her tirade about leaving, he tells her, “Go back to Wisconsin!” He will make a motion circling his head, and she “is crazy, dumb.” This is something he must have learned where he grew up. But my mom loves an argument, so this doesn’t phase her.

Once, his bus came to late,for his liking and my son came running in. “Mom! Kevin’s shaking his fist at the bus driver. He’s swearing at her and he gave her the finger!” “What?!” Oh no, I have to run out to do damage control. The woman just finished saying, “What did you say?” I had to gently remind her that he’s mentally challenged and accustomed to routine. He has a problem with change and is not violent. Yet, I had to laugh, because it’s difficult for most people to understand him, except with profanities, and hand motions are pretty much, universal.

What is strange is that, when he lost his hearing, he didn’t want to learn signing, since he loves using sign language for cursing.

This is where I can see that my mom’s temperament was passed to him, regardless of whether, she raised him.

My son’s idea of placing a camera in the room to tape their interactions is very tempting. He tattles on her when she’s sneaking junk food from her little stash. He watches her as she picks her skin,(which seems to be a nervous habit) She gets up to walk, she hunches over, and he will point to her and say, “Mom can’t walk.” At this she gets angry. “Of course I can walk!” She says.

But when I had left on my trips a few times, she had taken the wrong medicine. I had to tell my daughter and son to take out only the medicine for this particular day. My daughter told me she had been standing on her toes, trying to find the rest in the cupboard.”Grandma, you already took your medicine,” she told her. “Oh, I just wanted to see where your mom put it.” She told my daughter. “She treats me like I’m a little kid!”

Well, I figured out early, that this is her thing.As we all need to feel important, she had this little responsibility, and it is tied to her feelings of independence. I didn’t want to take this away, but she didn’t understand the dangers of ‘double-dosing.’ So I was talking to my son. “Hey, you know how grandma loves to take her medicine. As much as she loves her junk. We should put a fake pill container out, with candy in it! One to match each pill. She’d love it. Like jelly beans, boston baked beans. Those little chewy caramels, for the Chewy vitamin.” “Yea,” he said, we could get a Fruit Rollup, for her patch!” We started cracking up at this. Just thinking of her trying to stick that to herself. And then figuring out that it’s a snack.

But she’s so funny that she’d laugh at this too. That’s the part I love. As I shared it with her later, she just laughed and laughed.

So when I tell her I want to get pictures for the family, she’s always anxious. No matter how silly. She loves it! My kids said, “Grandma looks like a cross between, George Washington and Paul McCartney.” I tell my mom this, and she thinks this is hilarious. So I went out shopping, and finds a picture of George on the cover of Time magazine. “Hey mom, hold this, I’m going to take your picture.” She willingly does it as she’s laughing at the thought. We send it to my son.

Then Paul McCartney is on some show, and I said, “Hey mom! Look, it’s you!” And he did look like he was wearing lipstick, so not sure if she looks like a man, or he looks like a woman!

Then there was a Chicken Nugget which sold for $8000.00, because it looked like George Washington. Well, I took issue with this, since it clearly looked like my mom! And the funniest thing about that, is this is one of the commercials that annoy her. For some reason, she thinks McDonalds has no right to market chicken. “They should stick with hamburgers!” She says.

St Patty’s Day is no different. She states, “I’m not Irish!” I remind her that I am part Irish, and she doesn’t have to be, to have fun.So I place my green wig on her head, and she starts laughing. She loves this. I’ve seen it many times. A person transformed into a child again. I love to be part of the process and it’ a beautiful thing to watch. Living day to day with her, reminds me that childhood really is in the heart. And no amount of time or pain, will erase that.



There’s Only One ‘Soul Love!’

I woke from a dream this morning. It was a dream about my ‘soul love.’ I was so touched by the emotions which I experienced. I have just started to understand so much more about this one, true love.

In my dream the one who had stolen my heart, was coming with his family to my home. I was very nervous, and yet very excited. He was from a different world, than my own. He and his family, were very refined. Of great wealth and status. Yet, I knew, in spite of this, we had something powerful between us. It was like a fairytale. Our first meeting, left me trying to analyze everything about him. Why did he have such a hold on me, which no one else, had ever had? What is it about this man that makes him different? Since the first time, his eyes, met mine, I felt almost disturbed. It was a longing which I just couldn’t explain I secretly prayed that it would, go away

I realized this was not the  normal infatuation. It was something much different. Perhaps today, I thought, I will find he was just a figment of my imagination. A long-lost desire to make the young girls fairytale a reality. But now, I will finally be able to put this to rest.

When they entered my home, I felt rather stressed. Much like royalty, coming to visit. I wondered what kind of impression they might have. I had nothing to impress.

But then, they were so kind and I could see why, this man, seemed untouched by his position. A softness in his heart which was obvious to anyone. His family was like him. Not pretentious in any way. They didn’t seem to take notice of anything material. It wasn’t what I lacked, which they noticed. It was who I was, as a person. They wanted to know this woman, who had seemed to hypnotize this man.

As I felt immediately at ease with all of them, I thought, these people could be anyone. They were so genuine. So kind.

My eyes searched for him. As my gaze moved past the family circle, there he was. Standing in the background. Very quiet. I thought, it has seemed like an eternity, that I’ve waited for this moment. It almost seemed against the odds, that we would ever be reunited. Now, here he was, in my kitchen.

As I looked at him my heart was discerning his character. Amazed at the fact that he was so successful and seemed to have a global presence, yet here he was, hiding in the back of everyone. Almost as if he was shy in my presence. This intrigued me. Could it be that this man, whom I had fallen for, intimidated by me?

Now, I wanted to reveal my heart to him. Yet, I was afraid as well. How could he believe, I wasn’t just as afraid? These are unchartered waters for me. After so much heartbreak, I’m terrified by my own feelings.

Then I looked at his outward appearance. He had aged since our last meeting, but it didn’t matter. So have I. He was as attractive to me as the first day we had met.  I realized that the outward man, was just the flesh, and I had fallen in love with his heart. I looked at him again, and was amazed at my attraction for him. How could I convince him, that ‘he’s the one?’That he alone, held this place.

I thought, this man has had so many experiences, and met so many people, yet, he has no understanding of the power he has over me. I just wanted to prove to him that this feeling of insecurity he had, was something which goes both ways. This thing we have, goes beyond the natural appearance, and this is what makes it so special.

Later, as he was walking down a flight of stairs, he fell down. All the way to the bottom. I screamed and ran to him. He had really injured himself. I held him as I tried to hold his head. I couldn’t bear the thought of his physical pain. It was as if I felt it too.  I held him tightly, caressing his face, as I  thought, I don’t care what happens, I want to care for this man. I love him beyond everything.

I woke from my dream. I was thinking about all of this and then I remembered my trip to Israel, last year. On the flight, I sat next to a very kind man. He told me about the movies, which were playing. I really didn’t think I would watch anything. I was so tired. But he almost insisted. It was almost as if to say, “I want you to watch this. There is a message for you.”

I believe that God sends people to us to speak all the time. We must have spiritual ears to hear. The movie, which he told me to watch was, The King’s Speech.

I was so moved by this movie.  The King, was so shy. With such a tender heart. Such a sweet spirit. Kind and compassionate. This is the most endearing quality. It was amazing that his humility was so obvious that he had an aversion to the limelight. He was literally, tongue-tied, when he had to speak.

I wondered at this. The man in my dream seemed to be very much like, ‘the king’ It is the most endearing attribute. This is what made me connect with him. Something which can be described, but never explained.

As I read a quote from a friend this morning, it was one more reminder that, “someday, someone will walk into your life and make you realize why it never worked out with anyone else.” That sure seems to say it all.

I’m a firm believer that God has someone specifically designed for a person. And we can either try to make something work, or allow Him to be the ultimate matchmaker. Just as He created Eve for Adam. No one knows our heart, more than the one who created it.

So this dream, seemed a reminder, and an encouragement to me.

Excited To Die?

My brother is.

The joy of the Lord!

I’ve always been close to him. He’s one year older than I am. He’s mentally challenged.

My mother tells me stories of him claiming me as his baby, when I was born. He would swing me in my little swing, and when it would stop, I would cry. He would go over and start it up again. He would rock me in the chair. He would hold me like I was his.

My brother was born with his umbilical cord wrapped around his neck. It deprived him of oxygen and damaged his vocal cords. He also has cerebral palsy.

I didn’t see anything different until we went through the shaking in our lives. The loss of my baby brother, and my father. The transition into a life of poverty.

But kids are very adaptable. Trauma sets in, but it may take years. And for someone like my brother, it is ignored by many.

My mother had to find a way to care for us. And at that time, there wasn’t much available for someone like my brother. I was getting older, and it seemed he was frozen in time. I also had another brother, who had cerebral palsy.  My poor mother was in the midst of the most intense heat. Struggling to survive.

I felt that I was right there with her. Living those moments, but not having a way of expressing anything, nor the right to say anything. After all, I was only a child. And as my mother lost ground, her very controlling family took over. To them, the old adage, “children should be seen and not heard,” still applied. No matter how difficult it was for us. I was screaming on the inside, but I dare not speak.

I remember the death of my brother, Dennis. I was in so much pain. I treated him the way my brother treated me. My mother was busy caring for my other young brother, and I would take great pride in being the ‘second mother.’ Teaching ‘Dennie,’ as we called him, how to walk. I played a game with him. “The bunny’s going to get you!” I would run from across the room and he would squeal so loud. He knew like clockwork, when I was coming down the street, on my walk home from school.

He was only 13 months old, when he died. I remember the convulsions in his crib. I remember the hushed tones, of my aunts and my grandmother, as they tried to conceal his condition. I was angry, that I was not a part of these conversations. After all, he was my baby!

I asked my cousin, if he was going to die. She vehemently told me, “no.” When he was taken to the hospital, he was placed in an oxygen tent. He was supposedly on the road to recovery, and then he died. I still remember thinking that it was some kind of massive conspiracy. As if they had all known, and deliberately lied to me. I was only five, but I was angry.

I was riding in the car, as my grandmother and aunt, discussed the funeral arrangements. It was as if I was invisible. I was so full of pain and anger. I was not allowed to be at the funeral, because my grandmother and my aunts, thought it was inappropriate. As I tried to come to grips with all of this loss, I would say, this just added to my pain, as they had no idea, what I was experiencing. There was no closure for me. Years later, I had come to realize that my grandmother, had a similar experience when she had to watch her own father being cut down, from a rafter, in the barn,  after hanging himself.

As I analyzed this, and the nonchalant way my grandmother would tell us the story of her father’s suicide, I knew that this, explained her lack of emotion. It made me sad for her and my mother.

When my mother was faced with decisions, one was to place my brother, in an institution, for people with special needs. During the 60’s, these places were terrible places. When my brother would go away, he would scream and cry. Already traumatized, I couldn’t bear it. I watched him and I would become hysterical. My heart would break. I knew my mother had to do this, because she couldn’t care for him, and had no options available, but I couldn’t bear it. I knew one day, I would restore him to his family.

I would visit him, when I could and when I moved to a different state, I would have him come to me.Taking him to the airport presented challenges. He would get very upset and it was always the same scene. He would make shooting gestures toward the planes, which was not good, especially when I was in uniform! He would say, that his flight was cancelled or it ‘blew up.’ I had to be careful with him.And quietly thanked God, that it was difficult for most to understand him.

The day I decided to bring him home, was a moment of awareness for me. Almost like having a child. You just can’t plan for it. Or it’s not going to happen.

I had been through another trauma. The bombings in London. I had reassessed my life and what is important to me. From beginning to end. I thought of how things started out. My brother rocking me. Claiming me as his own. I had him home for Christmas, once again. He gave me two beautiful books. And he always looks so sweet and excited to give a gift. I thought, “you know, I can’t bear to keep sending him back. This is where he wants to stay.”

My life has been so rich because of him.The funniest thing about him, is his acceptance of things which most people fear. Death, is just a natural thing to him. I’ve told this story many times, but when my brother, Chris passed away, in 1989, we were all crying. We were standing around his casket, before they closed it. At this point my brother, Kevin pointed at Chris and said, “He owes me $5.00.” At this we started cracking up. I said, “Well, you’re going to have to wait a while to collect.” My grandmother reached into her purse and handed him $5.00.

Apparently where he lived, they had set all these people up with funeral arrangements. He came home once and was all excited about his casket. I thought, “What in the world is going on here? They’ve got these people all excited like they’re going to a party.” Besides the fact that they signed their own documents, which was preposterous, he was excited about the whole prospect!

Now, every time he gets sick, no matter how small the cold, he tells me, “I’m going to die. I’m going to the funeral home.” I realized early on, when he got sick, that he isn’t unlike most guys. He started to milk it out. I was running up and down the stairs. Breakfast, lunch and dinner, in bed. Then, when I said, “That’s enough,” he told me he was going to die.

If he doesn’t have a fever, and he’s not sick, he tells me he’s going to have a heart attack. That’s when he starts to remind me of Fred Sanford, from the old sitcom, Sanford and Son.

He’s just waiting to go to that place! Now I’m thinking, he’s going to outlive all of us. He’s so excited that the Lord’s going to keep him around for a little longer than usual. I’m sure you’ll see Willard Scott, announcing his name for birthdays in the 100 year mark.