Saturday, July 25, 2009

ONE MOTHER'S DAY AT A TIME, 8 weeks later

GOOD EVENING, ..LAKE TAHOE ! My mother is being wonderfully cared for by my brother and sister hovering over her with lots of love and smiles and their wonderful spirits while I am,once again, retreating.. in Lake Tahoe. Even though, I keep thinking I am needed home, I receive little assurances that all is well, maybe even better than if I were there because it gives my brother and sister more time to be with my mother, and they are being rewarded by seeing her improvement, her growing awareness of their presence and delight in their attention. It really has been a win/win for everyone. Thank You for showing me where I need to be, right here...and for my wonderful supportive family. This is the first time since we have been coming to Tahoe that I feel that I am living here, at least for a few weeks this summer. We have had the warm company of new and old friends who are here with their families at the same time, and we have shared moonlit evenings right at the lake, twilight barbecues on our little cabin deck, the night pines soaring through to violet sky. It has been good to have the time to really visit with friends in this peaceful place, being with other families and sharing stories of long ago, meeting new little characters, such as grandchildren whom we hadn't anticipated to be now enjoying a brand new generation of friendship. Around a campfire, the littles gasp and giggle, crazed by the snap and crackle of leaping flames, teased by the popping humor of teens who coddle them. For all this goodness, and the sweet smell of burning pine, melting chocolate, toasted marshmallows, for fire, and for the glow of Your presence on our firelit faces, I am grateful.
My stay has also been graced with the constant company of the two little superhumans, I am honored to call my granddaughters, who keep me surprised and delighted, night and day. Well, delighted by day with smiles and laughter, and often surprised by night...and whatever waking music they may choose to break up the monotony of a good night's sleep. Thankfully, they are blessed with the most loving parents, my amazing daughter and her even more amazing sainted husband i.e. John of the (family) Cross. His warm humor and easy-going patience keeps us all, his temperamental opposites, from both homi and suicide. Truly a modern day martyr, giving up his manly body to the cause of feeding a harem of hungry lionesses --two adorable babies, an amazing wife, and- this is where his seat in heaven is guaranteed ringside- a technologically challenged mother-in- law, who spends her time denying her handicap by insisting on learning to ewrite, keeping up a blog, while avoiding learning to read the ever-so-technical dial on a toaster-oven. Even with the variety of user friendly models she has tried, no real success has been noted. Yet, she insists on making friends with a computor. How modern of her. A special thanks to guardian angels that she did not burn down the cabin after leaving for a long family outing to cruise around the endless lake yesterday, with an innocent toaster oven left on high, charring away even the teeniest crumbs. Apparently, a visit from a forest fire expert, just the day before, to educate her on the perils of deeply bedded pine needles and the lack of defensible space around the outside of the cabin, was not lesson enough. Unfortunately, he neglected to educate her about the undefensible space around the inside of the cabin. How presumptuous of him. Heaven only knows the true account of forests saved by angels in the lingering smoke of half slices of charbroiled toast, one of her culinary specialties. We are grateful, Lord, for your patient son-in-law while she learns to make daily progress in the the complicated operation of the modern toaster oven. To quote him, we've moved from house to house, from kitchen to kitchen, from toaster over to toaster oven, but some things remain unchanged.

Friday, July 24, 2009

ONE MOTHER'S DAY AT A TIME, 4 weeks later

do i look tired to you???
The funk remains.. The weather has been cooperating with my mood, yuck and grey. I have been overeating before dinner, not wanting a real dinner, and not feeling as well as when I am eating fish and veggies. I am kind of or really disgusted with my body and how my brain feels too, waking up each night with dread and dreadful dreams and oversleeping. On Thurs morning I awoke before four am., did a bunch of housework, and some prayer, and nodded off again around 7. then I slept for a couple of hours and haven’t felt right since that. The yuck feeling was compounded by losing a night sleep on Sat night when the babies and my sister slept over and we tried doing it all together. Mistake. Sunday was a waste altogether. Since then I have also felt spacey from oversleeping in the morning and sometimes naptime. It seem almost impossible to shake off the sleepiness and weird dreams that result from prozac. I make an effort to see docs for heart check..and mental meds reluctantly. I know exercise would boost me but am so lazy and full of excuses. I feel empty……………………………………… to stare into the ABYSS with me? Regards, the Grinch ,
after i visited a new doc, I switched back to the brand name Prozac and away from the generic named Teva. This took away the spaciness, some of the sleepiness and depression. It may be that other generic brands may work for others, but this is what worked for me.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

ONE MOTHER'S DAY AT A TIME, 3 weeks later

I must admit that it was hard coming home because of my mother's waning condition. Even though she lives by my bedroom, somedays I just cant/don’t go in to see her. Today is one of those days. Forgive me for using the word, but sometimes when I pass her in her hospital bed, I think of her as a corpse, a living one. She is hardly with us anymore, but we all comfort ourselves knowing that she is in no physical pain and is well cared for by 24 hour excellent nursing care at home, with me hovering.
Adding to the weight of things at home, there was a sudden death of one of our caregiver’s own mother this week.
I love all of my mothers caregivers for that is exactly what they are. They humble me, (not an easy task), with their consistent kindness and reverence for my frail mother, who can hardly communicate with them anymore. They second guess at what she wants and are so sensitive to her every desire and needs, physical and emotional. They have the tasks of feeding her, lifting her up on a hoyer lift, showering her ever so gently, diapering her, keeping her skin glowing and healthy, and her smiling whenever she can.
About 3 years ago we were desperate for help and absolutely stumped by what to do next when her disease progressed to the point that she was encouraged to leave her sweet apartment for a nursing skills facility. I prayed and prayed and discussed incessantly with my two brothers and sister about what to do, what to do.
All of a sudden, at the last hour, we got a phone call that a whole family and a couple of friends would be available to take care of her around the clock. I had never dreamed that they would be people of such quality. Why He often likes to wait until after the last minute to rush the answer, is very scary. He’s odd that way, don’t you agree?
Above is my mother in person.. She is pretty cute in pink and we all have fun with her whenever we can get her attention. Somedays she just lays there and stares. On her better days, she wants to know when she will be picked up for work so she can do her cooking and catering. Often her hands are air-cooking and fixing arrangements for her parties. She is never really bored.
I think she is holding on because she’s a clinger, determined, yet fearful, and doesn’t like surprises. We know that soon she will be in for the most sublime surprise of her life --when she meets her Jesus, Whom she adores, surrounded by the whole celestial family. She has taken each small and so many impossibly difficult steps in her life with such innocent faith, even through the impossible sudden loss of her first child.
Of all the gifts my mother has imparted to me, none compares with the modeling of her humble faith, even though I spent my youth resisting it…and her. At every age, until now at 88, she has been a powerhouse in my life, and a force to be reckoned with many others'. Until a few months or even weeks ageo, she still knew us and could talk and joke with us. She has had a odd and challenging few years, coping heroically with Parkinsons, arthritis, anxiety, and now dementia, yet these days she is unusually peaceful. Anyone with an ounce of discernment can sense Christ's grace surrounding her, even today.
Our Lord,
I thank you that you have given us our brave mother through all the hardships she endured to help our family survive difficult times, especially coming to America. She was so young and worked so hard, alongside my precious father, to keep us afloat as a family. I thank you for the model of a strong and holy woman who lived for You day by day. I thank you for her courage, her talents, and her love. I thank you for giving her to my children as a most loving grandmother, full of life, and stories, fun, and humor..and all that great sewing and cooking..and some scolding too!
As she nears her homecoming to You, please reward her for how hard she worked to model your love to us as our wonderful mother. Remember her when she comes soon..into Your Kingdom.
Crown her with Your love forever, Lord.
Thank You, Father.