November 21, 2011

Fleas and Deep Fried Ice Cream

We visited the flea market in Daytona Beach (three complete miles of corrugated metal covered booths). One could not help wonder why they call it a “flea” market. Some of the vendors were missing a few teeth here and there, and looked a bit scruffy, but I never encountered any fleas. It is rated to be among the top 5 flea markets in America. There were endless stalls eager to sell sunglasses, perfume, jewellery, luggage, shoes, cell phone covers, you name it. All the colours, sounds and smells you can imagine. Samples of kettle corn, oranges and grapefruit were handed out to entice you to buy. After a while, you started seeing the same things over and over, at different prices. The only thing that really caught my eye were these giant smoked turkey legs. I saw a guy eating one, cave-man style, but I did not indulge. Lena purchased little gifts for the grandchildren, so we did not leave empty handed.
Afterwards, we went out for a dinner of fresh haddock in a restaurant overlooking the ocean. Nothing like eating fresh fish close to where it is caught. For desert we indulged deep fried ice cream (see picture below). Don’t worry, Lena shared it with the four of us.

I find that the fine motor ability in both my hands and legs have decreased considerably in the last week. It is becoming a challenge to eat, and I use a straw to drink everything, even coffee. Walking with a walker is very shaky and tippy. Although sitting in an electric wheelchair gives me a lot more freedom and independence, it does hurt your butt after 10-12 hours of sitting in one place some days. Letting go of material things has not been that difficult for me, but losing my physical ability has not been as easy. It is who you are as a person. Breathing is becoming difficult when lying in bed, and sleeping at night is quite interrupted. If I lay still and keep calm, trying not to panic, and think about other things, it is doable. It helps me to think about the sufferings of the Lord Jesus, and knowing that He can be “touched with the feelings of our infirmities” (Hebrews 4:15). He was thirsty, tired, wept, groaned in His spirit, spent hours awake at night in prayer just as we can do. But in addition to this, He was mocked, buffeted, spit upon, suffered shame and was rejected by man and God. These are things I do not have to endure. What a high priest we have in heaven, Who intercedes on our behalf. He never slumbers and never sleeps (Psalm 121:3,4) but keeps watch over His people.


  1. Hi Mr. Westerink,

    Your line about the wheelchair caught my attention. I worked as a physio/occupational therapist assistant at St. Peter's. Some patients had ALS, but I also worked with several other conditions. I am commenting to suggest that you talk to your Occupational Therapist about your cushion. Sitting in your wheelchair should not cause pain...the cushion you are using was chosen for someone else and may not be right for you. Eventually, there may be breakdown of the skin under the bony areas. There is also a seating clinic at St. Peter's where they may be able to adjust other parts of your wheelchair for you.

    Praying for rest for your body and strength for the soul. Enjoy the rest of your vacation.


  2. Thank you for sharing so honestly what is happening in your life. It is a great encouragement to learn how you are dealing with the path God has chosen for you. We will pray for God to continue to give peace and comfort to you and to your family. Love to you all!