Archive for the ‘Emotions’ Category

What Day Is It Anyway?

November 19, 2017

I have been having trouble keeping the days of the week straight since the middle of March when Eddie quit working for Andy.  He has been busy with things at home, I can’t tell the days apart any more.  Each day used to feel distinctive, a character of its own – now they all run together.  So I have decided to take a page from Winnie the Pooh

That will be how I think of each day, especially when they seem to run together.  I realize too often I think about things ahead rather than enjoying right now.

I have been thinking ahead about my radio show.  I don’t have the sponsors to keep it going for another year, unless the calvary comes to the rescue at the last minute.  I did get a good deal from the station manager for the last 2 months of year – plus the two sponsors I have helped pay for the time.  Unfortunately they are not in a position to  fully sponsor it for a year.

Back in October I decided I had to be willing to let it go – truly let it go.  I know it has to be whole hearted, not say it but assume I won’t have to actually give it up.  It hasn’t been easy, a lot of tears and puddles but I think I am okay with it now.  I may get a little weepy at times.  I have decided to celebrate the last show at the end of December rather than mourn.  I am going to miss going to the studio, spending time with Benny and having fun, all the people there.  It is like a family – not like any other radio station.

When I was checking Google yesterday for  my guest on Nov 28th, I came across a station that is nationwide and less money, so I emailed to find out more about it.  A woman was interviewing my guest, but to be honest, the host had such an unpleasant voice I couldn’t stand to listen to her.  But I checked out the station – it will be interesting to see what the response will be.

Since I have been doing the show, I have found myself writing a book about all the stuff I have been talking about.  It is kind of strange, at times I am writing all the time, other times I haven’t done anything for a while.  I will have time to work on it after the end of the year – I am curious to see what I come up with for this book. Reminds me of art school when I didn’t have a clue what to do – I would wonder to myself what I will turn in to class.  Amazingly, I always had my assignment done on time with an idea.  Sometimes the idea wasn’t all that great, other times everything fell into place.

This week Eddie is going for his first cataract surgery on his left eye.  He has really been noticing the changes and says he isn’t nervous.  We’ll go together because he can’t drive afterwards.  Then the next day he goes to the doc to check it out.  They figure he will be able to drive then.  Two weeks later they will do his right eye.

We have been invited to Mike Lombardi’s house for Thanksgiving.  He is the Boeing historian Eddie volunteers with at the archives.  He had invited us to the MOHAI gala to fill the Boeing table.  Eddie and Mike get along so well and enjoy Wednesday mornings.  Mike’s wife Paula is great – she was at the Gala but it isn’t all that easy to visit with all the money being raised.

We have been having a lot of rain – this week the weatherman says it will pour for most of the week.  That’s what he says, but I am more interested in what Mother Nature has in mind – I believe her over the weatherman.  Some of the passes have gotten about 4 feet of snow – some still don’t have snow to open the ski resorts.  I’m quite happy to have the snow stay up in the mountains.

A couple of weeks ago we were finally able to see the Olympics.  They were gorgeous – sunrise so all the snow was pink.  They seem to spend more time behind the clouds than they do in the sunshine.  I remember my Dad saying the sun usually shines almost every day, just some days you have to look quickly to see it.

UPDATE

I had an email from the other radio group and she said we were meant to meet.  I forwarded the email to Erik to see what his take on it is – he has been in the business so much longer than I have.  She would like to talk with me  – so I will see what she has to say.  Trouble is, I don’t want to leave KKNW but money is the deciding factor.  I’ll keep you posted on what happens.

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Reimagining Mother’s Day

May 8, 2016

This is the second Mother’s Day since Mom died; in some ways it feels strange she is not here, in other ways it doesn’t feel strange at all.  Maybe because the last 3 or 4 years of her life were dominated by dementia and she wasn’t quite the Mom I have known my whole life.  I am glad I was there for her during the time she was alone after Dad died, he was her whole world and she missed him so much.  She didn’t really say much about how she felt about things, her generation didn’t talk about feelings or were as open as we seem to be today.

When we were kids, we wanted to give her breakfast in bed – that was considered very much a luxury. However, Mom was not a breakfast-in-bed kind of person – I think Dad convinced her to let us do it for her.  Sometimes I think it was hard for her to accept receiving from others, she was such a giver to everyone.  She enjoyed having people come over and she would feed them.  She liked the people we invited over, Mom was very comfortable in her own home rather than out somewhere.

I remember when the three of us girls and Dad went to buy her a black nightgown – what that sales lady thought one can only imagine.  I remember it as  fun and a little out of the ordinary.  It never occurred to us to think in terms of what Mom would like best, Madison Ave always told people what to do or give on any occasion.

Mom was rather dismissive of Mother’s Day, because the idea of honoring mothers and showing how much they are loved on just one particular day was phony.  To her it was an all year round activity and more important for those small things every day.  In some ways I have agreed with her, make up for all the unsaid things, not visiting, etc. on one particular day.

I was living away from Seattle for over 34 years, I was able to come and visit my parents at least 3 times a year, sometimes more.  It was joy to be back in Seattle and be with my parents, we had a lot of fun together.  It was even better when Eddie was with me, the four of us would go on adventures.  Sometimes Eddie came on business trip and I couldn’t go with him, so he had my parents all to himself.  I have often thought he is the son they never had, plus Eddie thought of them as his own parents as well.  Eddie really enjoyed the times he and Dad went out by themselves – a guy’s day.  Dad showed him a lot of back roads around Seattle and Eddie still uses them.

They would come to visit us maybe once a year – I was able to take them around to places I knew and when I was in Atlanta, we drove up to Nashville to visit Candy.  When we lived in LA, we met friends of theirs from when dad was growing up and when they were first married.  Dad showed me places in Rolling Hills and Palos Verdes that were special to him and where he spent his teenage and young adult years.

When we were growing up, Mom was a stay at home mom, she was there when we came home from school – if she wasn’t, we knew she would be back shortly.  Sometimes she would be king cookies or downstairs ironing with the smell of fresh, clean clothes.  It wasn’t until high school, when I went home with a friend, that I realized how blessed I was to have Mom home when I came home.  I took it for granted.  My friend’s father had died in WWII and her mother had to work to support them.  When we went into her house, it felt cold – not just temperature, there was no one there to welcome her with warmth.  That really hit home and I began to value having a stay at home Mom.

As I think about it, home was a place that was safe where I was loved and wanted.   No matter what was going on outside, I would find a retreat at home.  Mom and Dad made it feel that way, Mom was the major component for it.  As I got older, I found more things we had in common, such as the books we liked.  When I was married, I learned to appreciate her more and understand things better.  If I had had children, I would certainly have understood being a mom a lot more.

So now I have to re-imagine Mother’s Day since Mom is not with us any more.  I know she is now much happier because she no longer has dementia and is with Dad.  Maybe it will be a celebration of her life and what she gave to me and my sisters.  I don’t quite see a picture in my mind yet, it may have to simmer on the back burner for a while.  When I think Mother’s Day, I see the lunch we had with her sister Jean and her son and daughter-in-law or the last dinner with Jean before Mom died.  They are happy pictures in my mind and I want it continue that way.

I did another post a while ago with pictures and I want to put those in this one.

Mom and her sister Jean

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Mom as a little toddler

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This is the house she grew up in on Main Street in Glastonbury, Conn

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This is out at the farm in Waterford, Conn near Long Island Sound

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I think this was a camp somewhere

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Mom was a Traveler’s Aid volunteer for more than 34 years – she thoroughly enjoyed doing it.

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Every summer, Mom’s father would rent  house on Clinton Beach in Conn., the family would rent houses near it and spend the summer there.

Dad made an album of pictures of Mom’s life and I used to go through it with her on my visit.  She had Macular Degeneration, so she wasn’t able to see them.  I would describe them to her and she knew exactly what I was describing.  She would tell me stories about growing up – I never knew when she was in a talkative mood.  It would happen all through my childhood, so when I lived in Conn., I went to Glastonbury and saw where she lived and met the relatives that were still alive.  On one of Mom and Dad’s visits to us, I took them there and we also went to Clinton beach to see the rental houses – surprising it looked a lot the same.

Those are the memories and pictures I have of Mom in my mind.

A Particularly Uncomfortable Few Days

November 29, 2014

Boy, computers can bug the hell out of me!!!!!!!!  Yesterday we signed Eddie up for his prescriptions and they sent an email for an electronic signature.  We did it just now and nothing works to send it through.  However, it just occurred to me they are closed, their computers are too.  We’ll try again tomorrow.  And for some reason, the first time I started this post, the bugger would only let me write the title, not the post itself.   Now it’s working – technology 2, Me 0.  I WILL not let it defeat me!  I won’t even mention the printer.

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This is one of Candy’s photos, after the week I’ve had, it always brings a smile to see the rose.  Thank you Candy.

That isn’t the subject, I got sidetracked just before I started writing.  It isn’t painful, just aggravating.

And now to business.  A week ago Thursday I was here in the office and ended up with another splinter in my foot from the hard wood floor.  It is the only place it happens and this time I couldn’t pull it out.  I could feel the end but since it was on the bottom of my heel, I couldn’t see it or bend enough to see it.  Eddie tried getting it out, but he couldn’t either.  It wasn’t that uncomfortable, I have had other splinters that stayed in my foot and have not given me trouble.  By Saturday I could feel it, it seemed to be pushing itself farther into my heel.  I began to feel as if I had a twig in there.  By Monday it was so uncomfortable and I didn’t want to walk on it.  I was sitting here and Eddie said “You have that look.”  I asked what look.  He said the look of “I don’t like this”.  Spot on, he was so right.

Tuesday I was really limping – fortunately I had an appointment with my rheumatologist and my infusion.  When I saw Jennifer – the doc’s nurse – I found myself ready to cry.  I had been having a really bad time and I so appreciated Jennifer as she took the splinter out and cleaned all the junk in it – it had become infected.  It hurt like crazy when she took it out, but I was so relieved to have it gone and cleaned up.  As it was, I did  start crying a bit from relief.

They put a bandage on it and decided I wouldn’t get my infusion.  Fortunately I also had an appointment with Doc Pierce in the afternoon – could I have timed it any better?  He checked it out and gave me a prescription for antibiotics and orders to soak my foot in Epsom Salts.  I have another appointment with him on Tuesday, then an appointment on Thursday for the rheumatologist and I hope my infusion.  Not the most comfortable week, I spent a lot of time sleeping or napping to rest from all the pain and stress.

I am still soaking my foot and everything is so much more comfortable.  I hope it looks good to both docs next week.  As for me, it feels so good to walk comfortably again.  The antibiotics are for 8 days, 3 a day.  Tuesday night, Eddie was ready to cancel our dinner reservation for Thanksgiving  “because you can’t walk”.  I’m glad he didn’t because I was doing much better Thursday afternoon and we had a lovely dinner at Il Fornaio.  It was amazing how quiet it was on the viaduct and downtown, hardly any traffic.  We were half an hour early and they gave us a table right away.

We decided to do the traditional Thanksgiving dinner of 3 thick slices of white meat, yams, stuffing, mashed potatoes, haricot vert and cranberry sauce.  I couldn’t eat all of it, but I did enjoy it.  We decided to have pumpkin pie as well, though it was one thing too many.  But it was a great dinner all around.  We just relaxed all day, reading, working the computer and watching some tv.  It really felt good.  We were glad we were home before it started raining.

However, Friday we were out paddling around in the heavy rain, didn’t go too far a field and were glad to come home and be warm and dry.  This morning we woke up to snow – really coming down for a while.  I think we had an inch or so, the roads were bare and wet fairly quickly.  Good thing because the temperature has dropped and anything liquid is going to be ice.  We saw so many people who had left their car outside, full of snow not very well cleared off.  What a difference to keep our cars in the garage so we don’t have to scrape.

Today we went out for a bit, the wind was really cold and it is due to be colder tonight and the next few days.  It will be drier, clearer and colder – not much fun being outside in that weather.  Not much else to report, we haven’t been doing much these days of the holiday but we have enjoyed it.

Election Day

November 4, 2014

The “Silly Season” is almost over!  There is something about campaigns, elections and the media that brings out so much balderdash that some of us are fed up to the teeth hearing so many pontificate and speculate.  Enough already!  It’s on television, in my mailbox, on Facebook, the radio, the telephone and anywhere else anyone can think of to put it.  No wonder we have voter fatigue.  If I hear any more analysis of each race and every tiny detail, I will go round the bed.

The worst part is that not many voters actually vote – those are the ones who whinge and complain the most.  Not only that, the same people keep running and getting elected – how many races have only one person running?  It is negative slants, lies, accusations and rumors instead of issues and what truly needs to be done.  It often seems politicians only notice us voters when election time, the rest of the year they are feathering their own nests rather than working for their constituents.

I vote every time, but  not enough other people do to really make a difference; wouldn’t be nice if we had people running who knew what they are doing.  Too many good people don’t want to be put under the microscope by the press and have their whole lives examined.  Why not put those same news people under the scrutiny that give to candidates?

There doesn’t seem to be much choice of parties or candidates – either very conservative or very liberal.  Why not a moderate party – otherwise some of us don’t have much choice.  Why oh why have the voters been split into segments – black voters, Latino or Hispanic, women, seniors – there are so many segments it is hard to  see us as all American voters.  We are all Americans, with no hyphens.

It is the right, privilege and responsibility for citizens to vote; to have informed voters would be the icing on the cake.  Maybe I am just old-fashioned; after seeing what my husband went through to become a citizen, I know how blessed I am to have been born an American.  Sometimes one has to leave the country and see how things are in other places to really appreciate what we have here.

Too bad this election is the end of it for a while.  Tomorrow they will start going full-bore for the presidential election in 2 years.  When that comes along, that will be major voter fatigue.  I don’t want to hear it, see it or deal with it until about September 2015.  Too bad I won’t be able to do that.  Maybe a little respite before the onslaught for 2015.

I don’t usually rant, but today I have had enough!  I am going to bed early, they can decide each election without me – the New Year comes in whether I am awake or not.

 

No Idea For A Title

November 2, 2014

I just realized it has been a week since I posted – not a lot to write about that is interesting.  I’ve been going through the days, often not sure what I need to be doing.  That ugly word “Should” tends to creep in and I am not boarding that bus voluntarily.  I heard an intuitive talk about letting go of the past programs rather than keeping them playing in a loop in my head.  What a great idea!  I have spent too much time and energy with several and enough is enough.  I have an appointment with an intuitive on Tuesday to help me clear a lot of the “Mom stuff” that feels at this moment as if it is choking me.

There has been a situation that my husband keeps harping on even though it is now resolved.  The last time he brought it up, I told him it is a dead issue.  Wonder why I didn’t use that a lot sooner for things I know are dead but I keep them in the mind loop.  I decided in Ike Pono I don’t board the guilt bus any more – I am only responsible for me, not anyone else.  I have finally learned that no matter how small I play, it never makes anyone else feel secure.

Last Monday on my show I talked about the gifts from Mom’s dementia experience – I wasn’t sure if I would get drippy, it worked out fine.    Late in the afternoon I heard the buzzer on the back door – a fellow bearing flowers.  It was a gorgeous bouquet of white lilies, roses, stock and I am to sure what else.  It was from the Breakfast Club.  I had already received a card from them on Saturday – signed by everyone.  Such wonderful friends and colleagues!

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Tuesday I looked at my calendar and realized I had missed my infusion the Thursday before – I don’t think I looked at my calendar at all last week.  So I called my rheumatologist’s office to see if they could fit me in the next morning after Breakfast Club – they could.  I also asked if I needed to change my next infusion because it would be only 3 weeks in between.  I was ready to go to my regular doc and realized it was 9:00, not 9:30.  By then it was 9:15, so I called his office.  Turns out he hadn’t come from the hospital yet and had 2 other people waiting. So we rescheduled for Wednesday afternoon.

I had coffee and lunch with my friend Patti – we hadn’t met for quite a while and it was good to see her.  I was dragging and spending time with her helped me so much.  I have a very boring life next to her, if it isn’t her house, her family, her business and computer – it is her neighbors.  Sounds a bit like a soap opera.  She has been through taking care of her Mom as well, so she had some good advice and insight.  Also, she is in the same business of promotional marketing, though she specializes in gold mining supplies.  I have learned a lot about gelding from her.   I hope she benefited as much as I did.

Wednesday was medical day – I went to Breakfast Club, then to my infusion, then to my doc in the afternoon.  My doc is a little concerned about me and dealing with Mom’s death.  He has offered to give me the name of a really good grief counselor if I need it.  I  like to wait for a bit to see how I do – he wants to see me in a month.  I may take him up on his offer.

Thursday I spent at Apple first at the Pages Group Session, then a One to One about podcasts and putting them on iTunes and my website.  I seem to give Larry a challenge when we do a One to One.  I need to make another appointment so he can figure out the RSS code and how to apply it to my stuff.

Back in a bit.

I took advantage of the sun while it was out to take pictures of John’s handiwork.  It has been raining, often pouring so much, there hasn’t been much sun.  John and his crew worked in the rain – it had almost stopped when they were finished.  This way there is more light to really show what they did.

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Looking down the porch to the road

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It may not look much different because the big trees belong to the neighbor across the street

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Things look so much better with the ugly hedge gone.

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Now you can see the sidewalk to the front door

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Donut lilacs that dark core is rotten.

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The camellia was so big, too big for the space.

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Looking to the back door

Friday John Van Zanten came with his crew to give us our view back and also give some  things a hair cut.  I asked him to take out that ugly hedge by the outside stairway and then he trimmed some branches on the lilac and the camellia.  Turns out the lilac looked like a donut inside, it was rotted.  Things look a lot different now.  Also, Bob ad Delores next door appreciate the haircut for the view, it helps theirs a lot as well.

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There is a lot more light in the bathroom – small window

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It looks a whole lot different with the branches gone

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I want the camellia, lilac and the rhode bloom in the spring, then we will cut them and dig them up – plant something to soften the brick but not above the windows.

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Not sure what to do with the two camellias on the left – not really the best place for them.

I took naps for several days  in the week, I slept, then sleep well at night – still tired.   Lots of weird dreams, wonder what they are telling me.   I went to lunch on Saturday with Char, Joan and Joyce in Marysville for Lois’s birthday lunch.  It was cloudy here, but as I got near Everett and Marysville, it was foggy – cold and raw.  However, we had a lovely time and I am glad I went by the time I came home, it was too late for a nap – I could certainly have used one.

That’s my week.

Taking It As It Comes

October 24, 2014

I can think of a lot of things I could or need to do, but at the moment I don’t really have the energy.  One thing I have learned is that writing it out often helps a lot, even if it is just to express it and get it out of my mind.  I look back on yesterday as a good day.  I had a great show with Dave Gagley, my attorney friend and the one who helped me so much with Mom and her affairs.  It was fun and we had a caller with a good question.  I kept it to estate planning since it is only a half hour, but I would like to have Dave on again for other things.

I had time between finishing the show and my chiropractor appointment, so I read a Dick Francis book – didn’t want to put it down until I saw how it all came together.  I did enjoy my adjustment, Cheryl is gentle but very effective.  Lately I have been stiff and sore around my clavicle girdle – that is around my back, neck and shoulders.  Guess there is still tension and stress.  I decided to have coffee and something while I read, that was enjoyable.  I was also putting off going to the funeral home to “pick up Mom and Dad”.

I took Dad’s ashes on Friday and they combined them so when I scatter them from on the Sound from a ferry, they will be together.  I also arranged for some to go to Candy, she wants to do something for them around Dad’s birthday.  It is the only physical evidence of them now, their essences are not in the earthly container any more.  It is amazing how heavy ashes are – the box and container with Dad’s was really heavy and the two together was also heavy.  I am not sure what I am feeling other than uncomfortable – yet there is no reason to be uncomfortable.  All this is new to me, I am so glad to have Dave helping me navigate the legal stuff, Char has helped a lot because she did it for both her mom and dad.  So many people have offered whatever help I need, I need to sort out how that looks for me.

By the time I got home, I was exhausted.  It was after 3, too late to have a nap.  However, I was happy to go to bed early and glad I slept well last night.  It is a kind of droopy day today and I decided to just go with it rather than push against it.  I probably would have been better off having a lie down in the afternoon, but I didn’t.  However, bed looks pretty good right now.

Back later.

 

It is a whole lot later than I planned – it’s Friday afternoon.  I have been having naps and sleeping pretty well at night – that is all to the good.  Wednesday morning before leaving for Breakfast Club, I had an email from Ellen with a Flash From the Past – she sent a photo with everything blooming.

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It makes me think of my Mom and how much she enjoyed her flowers.  I had a real lift from it and I made sure I emailed Ellen back to let her know how much I appreciated it.

When I went to Breakfast Club, I wasn’t so down and droopy.  They are a wonderful group of colleagues and friends, it is often a lift to the week.   I will say the week got better after that.  Thursday I spent at Apple learning more about Pages, though she had several new ones who didn’t know how to do it.  I mostly played around the cards and looking on the internet for pictures, etc. – I didn’t have a particular project.  I was surprised to find myself really tired, I seem to be okay in the morning and then suddenly run out of energy.  I decided to have a nap and since we hadn’t turned on the furnace yet, it was cold and I was glad to curl up in the warm cocoon of the bed and sleep or doze.

Last night we went out to Mongolian Grill for dinner, we haven’t done that for quite a while and we enjoy it.  Also, no dishes to wash.  it has been pouring a lot this week, we managed to find a break in the action to go to dinner.  Eddie has had the brunt of it going to and from Mukilteo, even hail yesterday

I decided to turn on the furnace this afternoon, three layers of wool and a layer of cotton wasn’t keeping me warm.  We thought about waiting until the 1st of November, but I just decided I had had enough of being cold and turned it on.   Blessed warmth!  If I were brought up in the UK, 61 degrees would seem quite comfortable.  I went to breakfast this morning with Judith and Juno – I almost didn’t, but figured Why not.  I enjoyed it and then went over to the funeral home to pick up Mom’s death certificates.  Suddenly ran out of energy and thought about coming home for a nap.  I ended up calling people about being a guest on my show or being a sponsor.  Not sure how any of it will turn out – it is God;s hands.

It has been the kind of week I’ve had for the past couple of weeks or so.  Still not sure what I feel or how I am doing, just working my way through what’s happening this day without wondering about tomorrow.

Somewhere In Neutral

October 14, 2014

I have to do at least one thing today – so far I have slept, watched tv and been on the computer, but not accomplishing anything.  I got up with Eddie this morning to have breakfast with him, he is spending the day at the Convention Center for the Interior Show.  Then we have the volunteer dinner tonight – he is the volunteer in the family.  I feel at loose ends, somewhere in neural – that’s the phrase that comes into my mind.

After he left, I checked email and then went back to bed.  I had trouble going to sleep because I was cold, then had weird dreams.  When I got up, I checked the clock and thought it was 1:00.  I had a show and got dressed, then looked at the clock again – it was only 11:30.  I’ve been sleeping well, so I may be beginning to unwind and release tensions of the last few years.  I did my show yesterday with Krista Gibson as my guest – she is great to have on the show and I enjoyed interviewing her.  Actually, I wanted her to clarify a couple of things I had heard her say because it was just a vague I think I know, but I was looking for I know that I know.  Now I am letting it simmer on the back burner until it really sinks in.

Before the show, I had a chance to meet and talk with Consuelo – her show is at 8:00 a.m., so I hear it as I am driving to the station.  I like what she has to say, plus she is the one who told me about Sound Cloud.  As we were talking, I asked her if it was too soon to see if my Mom had transitioned smoothly and was she with Dad and Josephine – Consuelo said she is there with them and it went smoothly.  She is happy and surrounded by love.  I was so glad to hear that – I know how scared Mom was to let go and all three of us girls told her Dad would be waiting.

After the show I went to see Dave, my attorney friend, about a matter for my sister.  He wasn’t there but I was able to give Dana the information and I will probably see Dave tomorrow at Breakfast Club.  Then went to see Dr. Cheryl for an adjustment.  My shoulders and neck have been stiff and sore – a large weight I have been carrying?  I’m not sure I am ready to examine feelings and emotions right now; I know it needs to be addressed.

I went to my caregiver support group, told them about Mom.  I realized I had been doing a lot of venting, but it was necessary and I knew it was a safe place.  I didn’t say a whole lot and there were two new people.  We ended up with 2 Jeans and 2 Lauries.  Then there was Claire and me, later Toni.   Last night I suddenly realized I don’t have to deal with that any more.  I am a little reluctant to say Mom’s passing is a relief – for her because she isn’t anxious or confused any more; for me because I was having trouble handling going to see her each week, seeing her decline before my eyes.

I was really tired when I came home, then fell asleep for a bit before dinner.  I could have gone to bed at any time, I didn’t want to find myself wide awake in the middle of the night because I had gone to sleep at 7.  My mind feels a bit like mush, hard to hold on to a thought or action for very long.  I feel as if it is one of my “drag my ass tired” periods with RA.

I hear from friends this is fairly normal.  It was very different when Dad died, our niece from Jerusalem was visiting and we left for Virginia after the Celebration of Life open house.  I went home and had to put my cat to sleep and our niece had used our phone to call her fellow and he kept calling.  Eddie was really upset because he told her not to use the phone, plus his sister and her husband didn’t want her talking to him either.  I finally answered the phone, told him I would let her talk to him once but not to call again because I had too much to deal with at that moment.  I told her the same thing, but he kept calling, so I didn’t answer the phone.  So she was mad at us and when she went back home, she didn’t speak to us for a long time.  There was a lot a stuff going on and for a while I couldn’t think about Dad.

Finally I sat down and wrote to him, at times hard to see the keyboard because I was crying, it felt good to put it in words.  I think I wrote at least a couple of other times – wonder where I put the sheets.  What has always surprised me is that whenever we came here to visit afterwards, it didn’t seem strange Dad wasn’t here.  It’s more than that. but I don’t have the words to describe it.  The experiences are different,  not sure what works for me.  Mom’s passing is still so new, I am just being and seeing what happens.  It’s odd how I suddenly remember she isn’t here any more and it brings me up short.

Glad to know I accomplished something today.

Her Journey’s End

October 9, 2014

Yesterday morning at 4:50 my Mom died peacefully in her sleep.  She had her 96th birthday last month and she finally was ready to let go and make her transition.  We had a call shortly after from Judy, her caregiver to tell us Mom had died.  It was part expected and in part startled me.  Since the doctor had said she was going into the last stages of dementia, I didn’t know how long she would be with us.  It is a relief and also upsetting; even though I knew Mom didn’t want to be here, that she missed my Dad and her cat Josephine.  Judy asked if I wanted to see her body, but I said No; I wanted to remember her the way she was when I saw her Friday – fast asleep under the covers, looking warm and comfortable and holding the weighted baby doll.

I am not sure what I am feeling or what I need or want – I feel at sixes and sevens, sort of wandering around wondering what I am supposed to do.  I called my sisters to let them know, I spoke to Ellen and had to leave a message for Candy because she wasn’t available.  Eddie had a conference he was helping put on and there was no need for him to stay home.  I think it helped him concentrate on that rather than Mom.  I went to my Breakfast Networking Group – Julia asked why I was there.  I didn’t want to be at home.  I’m so glad I went, this group of people have been there to support, encourage and help me through some difficult times – they are close friends rather than just people with businesses I network with every Wednesday.

I am still alternately calm and teary/drippy, never sure when the drippy will appear.

LATER

I’m having trouble settling to anything – I quit writing this because I couldn’t  keep going – usually I go into a flow once I start writing.  I’ve been wondering if writing it out would help – not really sure any more.  I tried having a lie down, to possibly sleep; didn’t happen.  I know I am tired – probably exhausted, but sleeping is not working out very well.  It took me a while to get to sleep last night – then I noticed how stiff and uncomfortable I was.  Not sure what is going on.

Back to the story:

After Breakfast Club I went to see Judy.  She told me Mom was very different on Tuesday, she noticed changes that weren’t there before – she recognized it probably wouldn’t be too long.  She checked on Mom quite often that night and then Mom was gone.  She reassured me that I had done everything I could for Mom and that she feels the loss as well.  She loved my Mom, as she loves all the residents as long as they are there.  It is difficult for her to see them go.  I have tried to tell Judy as often as I can how much I appreciate her, all that she did for Mom and to thank her.  She told me many times that it made such a difference for her to be appreciated – I don’t think too many do that.  She said Mom was a darling and everyone in the house loved her.

I keep meaning to tell Ellen the lilies she sent for Mom’s birthday are still beautiful – they are on the dining room table for everyone to enjoy.  Some have lost their petals, but quite a few are blooming.

I came home  and found a voicemail from Candy – I’m sorry I wasn’t able actually talk to her.  I called the Allens and also John and Luzma to tell them.  I ended up checking my emails and then had a cup of tea and a pear for lunch.  I suddenly felt very sleepy, so I went to lie down for a bit – I think I slept but then the tea kicked in and She Who Must Be Obeyed let me know I needed to get up and use the bathroom.  I went down again for a bit, then Luzma came by.  John had told her when she woke up.  We hugged each other and we sat and talked for a while – she will definitely miss Mom.  She remembers how kind Dad was to her, accepting her and treating her well.  She loved Mom, she said she was like a grandmother to her.  Their shared their gardens and many other things.

I decided I needed to do something, so I worked on the expenses for the business, I have let it go for too long.  it seemed to be the only things I could concentrate on.  Suddenly John and Luzma reappeared, carrying flowers.  She said she knew Mom loved her rose and she thought the house should be filled with roses.  There is one vase is small roses in a deep pink, one vase with red roses and a third vase with apricot roses.  The last vase had white daisies – plus a balloon.  In each vase is a lovely butterfly.  (I’ll put the pictures in another post).

They told me to call them for whatever I need – as soon as I know, I will.  While they were here Eddie called, he was on his way home from the conference, it didn’t last as long as he thought.  I was glad to see him when he came home.  We just had tea and bread – it was later than we usually eat and we were both tired.

I left a message for June, one of the domino ladies and also called and talked to Kathy.  I know there are people to tell but I can’t quite think of them at the moment.  That was Day 1.

The Rest of The Story

October 5, 2014

I didn’t write my sisters about Wednesday until the next day – I needed to digest it for a bit first.  I also needed to meet Mom at the Center to take her for a haircut.  Last time she was fast asleep through all of it, not this time.  She was sleepy and holding on to her plush lion, but she was a bit more with it.

Lisa put the plastic shield around Mom and the lion so Mom would have something to hold.  She wasn’t all that happy about having it washed, I had to put a towel around her forehead because the headpiece let water run down into her face.  She didn’t like the shampoo – at one point tried to bite Lisa.  Unfortunately she wasn’t able to really get her hair clean because Mom was so feisty.  She cut Mom’s hair and then put her under the dryer to dry it as much as she could.  Mom was not happy under the dryer, I was sitting next to her and put my hand on her arm and let it know it was all right.  Then she held my hand while the dryer was going, at times she got agitated and I just told her it’s fine.

Lisa fluffed her hair some – interesting to see the back curly and the front very straight.  She said it happens with geriatric patients, some parts will curl, others won’t.  Certainly Mom was glad it was over.  I took her back upstairs to get ready for lunch.

I asked Sherry, the receptionist, if it was possible to see Dr. Myre, I wanted to collect my hug.  Instead of phoning, she must have written an email because Dr. Myre came out quite quickly.  Not only did I get one hug, I had several strong ones from her.  She  is very comforting and understanding – I, of course got teary and drippy.  Seems to be the case a lot lately.  She said I was doing a great job being there for my Mom and it helped to hear that.  Many of my friends and my sisters have continually told me that – it is good to hear since the old “beat myself up” program keeps intruding.  It says I haven’t done it perfectly and not done all I could – that voice will always tell me I didn’t do it perfectly or enough.  So I am learning to  release the need for that and to know I am enough.

I left and went to see my acupuncturist because I felt the sore, scratchy throat starting again. Probably would have been smart to go Tuesday and nip it in the bud.  I made an appointment for Friday as well.  Seems as if lately everything is coming at once, with not much time in between to regain my balance.  I’m not sure it is supposed to come in separate intervals.  When I worked in department store, it was either everyone came at once or it was very quiet.

Friday I went to visit Mom, I wondered if she would be wiped out after the haircut.  She was fast asleep in ned, holding on to the weighted baby doll Char gave to Mom.  Judy said she likes to have something to hold, keeps her hands occupied.  I didn’t want to wake her up, but I did tell her I love her and that Ellen and Candy send their love.  I knew I would get too teary if I stayed much longer, so I left and headed over for my acupuncture appointment.

It’s been an odd week, Eddie was home Wednesday because the archives were closed and he wanted to get another shirt from the Car Museum.  I went to Breakfast Club, then came home because I had to work on an order for calculators.  He assumed I would come with him and seemed a disappointed I didn’t.  The Friday he had the day off because he was going to go to the venue for the PNAA Defense Conference to show Lisa the layout.  I  didn’t get home until after 1, he wanted to know what kept me.  Trouble is, he assumes when he takes a day off, I am available to play.  I usually have been but now with new things going on, it isn’t possible and he has to adjust.  Funny how things change, then change again.

We also have been sleeping in separate rooms for the past 3 weeks or so.  He had a bad cold and didn’t want to give it to me, then I had the coming down with something – neither wanted to give it to the other.  Friday we finally got together again, though we are being careful because we don’t really know if either of us is contagious or not.

I also wrote an email to the Northwest Schooner Society to see if they were interested in the models and Dad’s old wood working tools.  I had a nice email and Kitty wrote back saying they would be very interested.  I email pictures and she said they were gorgeous.  So now we are working on a day for her and her helpers to come and pick things up. I told her the box may be a bit heavy, that I would check with my next door neighbor to see if they would be around to help.  They are a young, just married couple living in the lower level of Bob and Delores’s house – Cameron is their grandson – I think their son Jerry’s son – and his wife Kika.  We saw them last night – they were locked out and came for the key – and they are willing, it just depends on when.

Plus my radio show – I have 2 guests lined up and working on a third.  Still no sponsors but I have given a couple of people the information.  I am getting ready to publish my website for the show – it will be rough and needs refining.

Otherwise, not much has been happening here.

Life With Mom

October 4, 2014

Thursday I sent my two sister and a close friend this email:

Late yesterday afternoon, Mom’s doctor called.  She said that Mom was about to turn a corner into the last stages of dementia.  She said Mom has lost weight, isn’t really interested in eating and she had two spots beginning on her bottom.  Not wanting to eat and losing weight means she doesn’t have her systems working very well, so making sure she doesn’t get sores will be a big priority.

 She will continue to go to the Center for as long as it benefits her, then they will have to have another doctor see her at the home.  Just because of distance.  She wanted to ask if I would like to have Comfort Care for Mom from now on.  It is their hospice type of care.  It means it will be easier for Judy and Didi so that went something happens, they don’t have to call 911.  There will be people to come and decide what works best for Mom – it is for the times when the Center isn’t open.
Dr. Myre said she couldn’t predict how long, especially since Mom is still strong.  It could be 6 months, it could be more.  She said Mom’s brain isn’t connecting to her body very well – she probably won’t be walking any more and at some point she will be bedridden.  She has noticed Mom has declined a lot – I’ve noticed it the last 2 or 3 weeks.
 I went to see Mom on Monday, but she was very sleepy and a bit cranky, so I didn’t stay.  Last Friday she spoke so softly I couldn’t hear her and she was very sleepy.  I went in the afternoon because Judy thought she might be more awake in the afternoon.  When I come in the morning she has had her meds and right about then, they kick in.  She also doesn’t seem to know me, so that may be how it will be from now on.
 I am going up to the Center today to take Mom downstairs for a haircut.  Dr. Myre said she didn’t like telling me over the phone about it and if I had been there she would have given me a hug.  I said I would be there today, I will collect my hug.
I am trying to wrap my head around this and it may take a while.  I have wanted her to let go and make the transition; but now that it seems much closer, I’m not sure what I am thinking and feeling.
I received answers from all three.  This from my younger sister:
It’s hard. Yet Mom has been ready to go for a long time. A geriatric doctor friend says that when they stop eating, it’s a sign they are ready to let go of life. Palliative care (Comfort Care) is a very wonderful thing. They are focused on making Mom comfortable, and helping the entire family deal with the transition as the patient enters Hospice Care. Hospice (and Medicare coverage) begins (according to Dr. Jeannie) when the patient cannot walk, talk, or feed herself. You will have a dedicated team available there to see Mom through this. 

You have already created a stellar safety net to take Mom through the final stages of life. Hospice care opens more resources for Mom, and for you. It is also totally covered by Medicare, freeing you to focus on walking with Mom through this process of releasing. Hospice people are great, so take advantage of the things they offer. They know so much about this part of the process and are deeply tuned into the spiritual aspects of dying, as well as the practical physical aspects. 
It is very disorienting to see someone so powerful in our lives become so weak, and to disappear as the dementia progresses. At the same time, there is a strange liberation, because all the old rules don’t seem to apply any more. 
This transition time is not only about Mom making her exit from the planet. It is an opportunity for all of her children to be “born again” and reinvent our lives. The life we knew is dying, but new life is continually being born. 
And from my older sister:
Thanks for keeping me informed. Candy, your thoughts are so healing and such a help. Yes, reinvent ourselves. Love, E
And from Char, who has been through this with her Mom:
Thanks for the update on your mom.  I’m frankly not too surprised (having been down this road before), but I know it’s hard.  Do make sure they keep after those sores; no sense making her uncomfortable, if you can help it.  My mom had those, too, but of course she was bedridden for quite a long time before she died–as in about 4 years–so it wasn’t to surprising.  However, the fact that your mom is losing weight can mean not only disinterest in food but a gradual slowing down of organs, tummy not as able to absorb nutrients, etc.  Be prepared–there may come a point when she refuses to eat at all, and that will be her choice, but it’s hard to deal with.  
 
I think Comfort Care is an excellent idea; we had that for my mom, too, and it really does help.  They can help you anticipate the changes you will see from now on, and that will help you be somewhat prepared.
 
I thought your mom had declined quite a bit since the last time I had seen her, but it had been several months, so that wasn’t too surprising, really.  When you see someone frequently, the changes seem much more gradual.
 
I hope you collected that hug!  If I were there, I would give you one, too, although today you probably wouldn’t want me to–overnight I have developed a full-blown head cold!!  It started with a sore throat yesterday, and BOOM! here it is…..sniffing, dripping, sneezing, etc.  I took a Claritin, and that has helped a little, but not enough! 
Believe me, I am so glad I have begun to ask for help and let others know what is happening.  I have been glad I don’t have to do it by myself.  Plus, when I have opened up to other people, I have been amazed to find so many others with the same kind of situation.  Even so, it isn’t a cakewalk.
To be continued . . . . . . . . . . .

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