Monday, May 19, 2014

A Lesson from Grandma

Caring for my dying grandmother is something special. It's an honor, really, but not one I've earned or hoped to achieve. 

Some of my shifts have been difficult and physically demanding. Almost all are confusing, trying to figure out what it is she's saying, to whom it's being said, in which decade she's existing at that moment.

Tonight she's been very quiet and peaceful, a welcome change, perhaps due to her healing hip and change in pain medication.

She talks about Grandpa, who passed away in 2006. She's told us she's mad at him for leaving her alone. Can't say I blame her. I'd probably feel the same way if the love of my life for 60 years went before me. She said they were "buddies." I asked her to tell me about him, how they met, what they did. She smiled and told me about dancing and bowling with him. I learned you never stop loving your one true love. 

She asked tonight about her kids. I went down the list, telling her how happily married all three of her children are, how they all have kids who have kids who have kids, and that they are all alright. She says if they are alright she won't worry. I reassured her several times they are. Almost every time I'm here she asks me where they are. I learn you never stop being a mom, even when you're a great-grandmother. I don't think she asks about them when they are here. No matter where her dementia takes her, she seems to know that that I am FROM them, but I am not ONE of them. 

She wants to call her mom. Her mother passed in the 80's, when I was a child. I have faint memories of her. Photos, really. Noni passed almost 30 years ago, and still she wants to call her. I learned you never stop being a daughter, ever.

Wife, mother, daughter. 

Even though her mind and body fail, love does not.

"Love never fails," 1 Corinthians 13:8. 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Happy Birthday C!

 Friday was C's Second Birthday!  We celebrated our special boy's day with a lunch outing and our first zoo visit of the year!  Above, C's smiles and claps as we sing Happy Birthday at Panera after lunch - he can polish off an entire kid's meal by himself now!

After riding the train and the carousel, M and N hopped into an old time truck at the zoo and C hopped up, too, saying, "cheese!" all the while.

Sunday afternoon we threw a big birthday party for all three boys - all our moms and grandmas were here, too, so it was the perfect Mother's Day/Birthday Party.  I don't even mind that it's raining today because the weather was so perfect - sunny and 80!  It just doesn't get any better here.  Below, C has his first Faygo - he was drinking everyone else's so I just gave in!
 Each boy had his own cake - C went first and blew out both candles by himself.  Everyone cheered and he was all smiles!
 Below, Hubs helps C open his gifts - well, a few of them.  C retired shortly after this shot for his afternoon nap while we resumed the celebration for M and N.
Little C is such a wonderful treasure and gift of love to us.  C, we are so in love with you and proud of the big boy you are becoming.  Happy Birthday, my little love!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Easter, ER, Garage Sale, Grandma....

What a month April was!

Many were the hours spent prepping for the Garage Sale of the Century at my in-law's house. Many were the treasures discovered in the garage, shed, and basement. Many were the dollars made by my mother-in-law, who slapped her knee and laughed herself silly every time someone gave her money "for junk that was just cluttering up my house!"

In two weeks, the remnants of her sale will be moved to my house for our town's "treasure hunt days," and she can park in her garage again, the goal of our efforts.

Easter came and went in a flash this year! We decided to tell our kids the truth about the Easter Bunny, and explain what the holiday is really about. I fretted about it for days, but the kids just asked, do we still get baskets? Of course, they are from mom and dad, we said. Ok, they said. I'm glad we started with the bunny, I think starting with Santa would have been harder.

My Grandma took a spill in her assisted living apartment last week, landing her in the hospital where it was discovered she broke her pelvis. Nine days later, I'm typing this on her love seat, watching her sleep because she can't be alone.  UPDATE MAY 5th: She's not doing very well.  I'm going in for my 5th shift in 5 days this evening.  Pray for her physical comfort and peace. 

In those nine days, I assisted with the before mentioned garage sale, then took N to the ER Sunday night for wheezing and shortness of breath, a road we traveled half a lifetime ago with him. He was diagnosed with viral pneumonia, given a bunch of meds, and the kids and I were essentially quarantined at home the entire week. I did not leave or property for 4 straight days, some kind of record.

During those 4 days, we celebrated Aunt L's birthday with homemade streamers and a store bought cake (because my range wasn't working). She's a respiratory therapist and coached N through his albuterol treatment like a pro that day.

Then the appliance repairman discovered what I, my husband, and our landlord did not: the range was unplugged! But only halfway, supplying enough power for the clock and lights, but not enough for the heating elements. Good news: we don't need a new range. Bad news: no one thought to check the outlet.

There is theme here, for on top of all that, we had no internet this week! Being house bound with three kids and no Netflix (we have no cable) was a challenge, but also a blessed relief for me from their favorite show "Busytown Mysteries." (My twins mimic Pig Will and Pig Won't so accurately that if I could delete the show from Netflix I would. Also it's VERY high pitched and every character's voice grates my nerves. Not to mention it's just banal. Watch it, you will agree). Hubs got home from his week long business trip last night and went to fix the internet this morning- he discovered the power cord in the "off" position.

What power cord? I asked. I'd been trying to fix the internet all week. Okay, for a day, until L told me something is going on with Charter and their modems because she had no internet either.

The one under my desk, behind it, along the wall, he said.


C must have crawled under there and turned it off, he said.


C has come into his two year old self a couple weeks early! He figured out how to climb the bunk beds, but cannot get down. He steals my iPhone and runs away with it every chance he gets, so I have to hide it...if if you receive a nonsense text from me, C has the phone, if I don't reply to you, I've hidden my phone from him and am searching for it because I can't find it either.

There you have it, what's been keeping me away from blogging, and I will post this just as soon as I get back home because guess what?

No internet at the assisted living apartment complex either!