Oh, Mama... We just had a little "discussion" in a super calm voice on my part (I thought). I explained we were not going to argue and she could yell if she wanted but I could only go so fast and yelling wouldn't make me get there any faster.. She looked at me quite squarely
with a not too pleasant gleam in her eyes...
After I came in to the other room I heard her voice.... "You are very...very... very lucky, very lucky your mother puts up with this, PUTS UP WITH YOU! My mother didn't. You are a sass box."
I am sitting here in my bedroom/aka old dining room, looking out the west window and keeping my ears tuned for the hum of an ambulance bringing Mama home from a ten day hospital stay. This homecoming almost didn't happen because I was all but four hours from having her accommodated in our local nursing home. I am not saying that might not have to happen, but it isn't happening on this visit to the hospital.
As I've mentioned earlier, or at least hinted, Mama has developed dementia. It breaks my heart, and I know that those of you who have seen a parent wander wide-eyed and lost down that same path... you understand the disbelief, denial, and excuses a daughter makes when she doesn't want to see it. I recall telling Mom many, many months ago that she wasn't waking up from her dreams quite fast enough. I told her little white lies about things to make her feel better about not understanding them. And I told those same white lies to myself. The trouble is, I think Mama knew all along. I was the one who fell for every lie I told. My son gently told me many times that his granny had dementia. And she does.
I hate it, and I won't go in to anything personal because if you've been there, you know, and if you haven't, God blesses you every day with that gift... The thing is.. He has blessed us with the disease itself, as well, because every day is still a gift.
To be honest, I was supremely tired and awfully crabby/angry/cranky... and when Mom developed a UTI on top of the dementia. Nobody was sleeping ... at. all.... I didn't realize what was happening, and I just got overwhelmed. A week ago Monday, she began to show signs of more infection (low grade fever, rash, lethargy) so I called 911 to take her to the hospital on my doctor's and home health nurse's orders. Mom has to travel by ambulance to and from the hospital (at $1200 a pop!!!) Her confusion and my exasperation and lack of knowledge had reached its peak, so I got everything in order and even talked to her about going to the local nursing home after she was released. She wasn't too thrilled, but she agreed it might be best. (That was a sure sign of her emotional condition because she really doesn't want to go at all.) With everything in place, I proceeded to feel a sense of freedom and surety I haven't felt in years. I admit it. I thought it would be the best place for her and the best situation for all of us. (And it might be. But...)
I began to cry. Now, those of you who think you know me believe I cry easily, and I do tear up quite fast. I have a tender heart and an empathetic streak that melts with TV commercials or memories or sad songs on the radio. However, it has been a long, long time since I cried all day. My bouts with tears are usually rather intense but over in a few minutes. I don't think I even cried long and hard when my precious Daddy passed away... I figured there was no need because I wouldn't ever really have a reason to stop crying about that since he wasn't coming back... so why start? Pragmatic Romantic?
But I cried, and I cried... I had no peace about it although I made all the phone calls to all Mom's friends to let them know, and I got nothing but support and agreement that it was the best for her. (and it probably might be, but...) So at midnight I texted my son and said I couldn't do it. He told me that if I thought it was wrong, it probably was... (Such a jewel, that one.) He said he was happy to continue giving up great, huge portions of every day to help me take care of Mama. So I prepared last Thursday to bring her home. Our doctor, who is known for his gruff attitude and intelligent decisions, as well as his impatience, decided differently. He put the paperwork in for an extended stay to assist Mom with some physical therapy and to give us a little breather to make sure her UTI had cleared. She could have stayed seven more days, and believe me, sleeping has been so wonderful that I thought about it. However, we decided to keep seven days in case she needs more help later on. Good old Medicare requires a sixty day wait if we use up all the days now...
Christmas above and six months later birthday below... such a long, physically and mentally challenging journey for Mom...
So.... short story long, she's coming back home today. She's waiting impatiently I know for an ambulance to be free. I just heard it will be after 3:00. I hope to have more patience, a better approach/shedule/diet/plan... whatever it takes. I just know that I couldn't give up the intimate knowledge of how she was doing every minute. When she puckers her mouth a certain way like she is thinking about a straw, I know she's thirsty. Shen she wrinkles her nose, I know it itches... When she is just plain silly with the idea that a little girl is trapped in a blanket over in the corner, and she yells, "I'm speaking on her behalf! Help! Help! I'm trapped in the blue blanket!"... I know it is the same woman who kept everything completely organized and in her head for almost a century... 92 years... and I check the blanket to make sure she isn't telling the truth...
I appreciate and understand all of you and all the decisions, hard choices you have made whether you have kept your parents at home or found good, caring nursing facilities for them... Both are excellent choices and both are blessed, I'm sure, by the loving Heavenly Father.
This is a catch-up, throw-it-out-there blog. I will resume my normal, erratic bursts of energetic seasonal decorating and half finished projects shortly.
In everyday lives we constantly can receive a small dose of magic, spiritual blessing, correspondence from God. Currently my mind is racing too fast for my circumstances and my very core being is in dire need of that wise woman inside me... She needs to soothe my soul and direct my eyes to scripture, my heart to the Father, and my body to wisdom.
And while that all takes place, I need joy, perfect love casting out fear, an in-filling of tranquility. To find this in the midst of this Missouri heat, of Mom, of daily angst... call it a miracle from God and call it prayer, but it is also a cry out to the magic of my strong ancestors whose blood strengthens my spine...
... Just a little shout out to you all that we are still here and thriving in the light of Summer. Blessings!
Well, late summer brings its "treasures" of heavy morning fogs that evaporate into noonday steam and afternoon irritability. Meanwhile indoors the house slowly evolves toward the next season. In the bath a murder of crows begins to gather in my bathroom... According to Wikipedia a group of these stately birds can also be labeled a horde, a parcel, or a storytelling... Didn't someone have fun with this one?
A few years ago I bought several window toppers from an Etsy shop. I love seasonal living so I enjoy changing them out as the days march on toward completing another round.
The huge crochet sunflower is a crochet pin from ThePatchworkHeart in the United Kingdom. She is amazing. She also has an Etsy shop. I love watching her projects unfold. The colors she chooses play so nicely together. I love to crochet, but I am a procrastinator on joining the blocks!
Sunday. Sunday. We entertained some very dear friends briefly today. My son and a friend came to brighten my life by letting me speak my love language of cooking a meal. Garden chicken, Summer bright carrots, cauliflower, Oriental coleslaw, cheddar biscuits... My sister/cousin had been here earlier for a little slice of blueberry crumble bread and some delicious coffee she brought me from the Ozarks.
Another week begins with nurse and therapist visits, laundry, cleaning, and (I hope) little chats with friends.
Tonight I have a date with My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2. I can't really remember the first one, but this is highly recommended. I will like it, I am sure.
Do you make lists of things to accomplish each month? I think that is the only way I have ever managed to do anything. I have even been known to put things on my list I have already done so I can strike through and feel accomplished!
1. Establish a better routine with Mom's care. Write it down and stick to it.
2. Go to Amish country before tomatoes are gone!!!!!!!
3. Start my new Beth Moore "Fellowship" bible study.
4. Continue in the Facebook group "Project Me" group with journaling in mind, body, soul areas
5. Start the "Get a Grip" project with Alison at Brocante Home
6. Create a Beach theme mantel
7. Do sunflower and crow theme in bathroom
8. Do strawberry theme in kitchen
9. Change to kitchen at the beach END OF MONTH
10. Watch fifteen movies in July (beats just trolling the web shops and buying stuff...) Hello, My Name Is Doris Star Wars Fury Road
My BF Greek Wedding 2
...... any suggestions?
11. Of course, purge and clean ten little areas drawers on kitchen north wall
cabinets on east living room wall
ottomans under TV
cabinet by Mom;s bed
ottomans in my bedroom area
top of china cabinet (Ma's)
12. Have a taco salad party for my son and his friend.
13. Make jalapeno biscuits from mix for said taco salad party.
14. THINK OF MORE EXCITING BLOG TOPICS!!!!!!
Sometimes I have heard of a witching hour, but around here we have a "magical?" time of morning known to civilized man as 3 a.m. To Mom? Wake up time. I personally would more closely associate it with go to bed time... Therein lies the top issue between my mama and me. I told her I didn't care what time she woke up if I could sleep. I said I would be more than happy to put on TV for her. She graciously? told me I didn't need to wake up at all because all she wanted was for me to turn on all the lights (which we already keep on for terrible bedtime terrors), make some breakfast, wash her face, and sit beside her bed where she can touch me, and visit with her... Now in my country we call all that waking up... Oh, Mama...
I have been puttering with some new strawberry gifts from friends and new mercury glass purchases that light up in the late afternoon and hibernate eight hours later... . Strawberry delights, I guess.
What cookie would you like to see in that big, juicy strawberry cookie jar? I think I might go for a lovely oatmeal raisin right now... Even some of those amazingly high calorie Little Debbie" dealios" would do the trick... the ones with that soft white icing sandwiched in. Have you ever noted the calories on that thing? Oh, dear! Hey Debbie, you cannot be "Little"!
April Cornell linens are also a gift for my birthday... I have used the gorgeous napkins as a diamond point scarf for my cupboard.
Tomorrow morning... later on today actually I will be baking some sweet coffee cake and putting on some new Italian coffee from a dear friend's trip to The Hill, an Italian market district in St. Louis. I think I might need to crank up the AC, but please do not tell Mama it is on... We often "wonder how the house stays so cool" when it is summer...
I might even find some lunch if you are up for it...
Cannot decide if I live in Neverland, Wonderland, or Wakesville, but all I know is you can usually grab the three o'clock to the second star on your right and go straight on toward morning.. All Aboard?
1. Fresh tomatoes. I have six plants just full of baby maters. I am just holding my breath that these summer storms do not ruin them... Fierce!
2. Air conditioning..... Ah, what a difference you make...
3. Late, hazy sunsets. Something about the personality and palette of twilight just speaks into my soul!
4. Midnight movies from Amazon Prime or Netflix. My most recent, Hello, My Name is Doris with Sally Field. Amazing! I really enjoyed it as a light-hearted treat.
6. Locusts singing at Twilight. They sound like school is getting ready to start. I hear the stores are stocking their aisles... That is always a pull for this retired teacher.
6. Art. I am happily dabbling away...
7. Summer's dark storms. I just watched a locust tree lose a large portion of its top.
8. Thoughts of Homecoming and all its treasures... I hope to attend a little this year.
9. Pitchers and jars of citrus fruit water. Love this look!
10. I am loving my summer planners and journals. I do not know what I would do without that creative outlet