Sunday, August 19, 2012

Where did the summer go?

I last wrote about a Walt Disney World vacation that was fabulous! So, yes, the summer started off great.  I gave each of the children Autograph Book Bags, Disney Water Bottle Straps, and other related goodies and they LOVED them! They worked out great because it put everything within their reach and that little independence was delightful to them.  That made me very happy. It was the first visit to Disney for three of the little ones and  it is so much fun to watch them as they discovered the "happiest place on earth".  The bags and straps are still available in my Etsy shop if you need any.

On the way back home, I received word that my 91 year old Mother was rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery.  I got home, washed clothes, repacked and took off to see her.  She made it through the surgery.  The days that followed though were some of the toughest and longest days I have ever had. She struggled to not give up.  It was a very difficult surgery to come back from, but you don't live to be 91 by giving up.  So I watched and encouraged her each day as I saw her persist through physical therapy, every kind of therapy they do.  But it was overwhelming as her old body betrayed her strong will.  She finally got to a decision that she did not think she could get better.  It was also at a time that she had the choice for a medical treatment that would keep her body alive, but not have any quality to it. That was what she did not want.  I was proud of her for standing up and speaking her wishes, even though my heart broke at the idea of life without her.  I have two living sisters. One could not let go. She invoked power of attorney and insisted our Mother have this medical treatment plan.  It took several days but the doctors finally invoked her Living Will that said she did not want this treatment.  It was very hard for all of us to hear her choice, but understandable to two of us. Needless to say, there was an awful lot of stress and hurt feelings.  Be careful what you write in a living will, and more careful who you give medical power of attorney to. It needs to be someone you can trust, and who understands what you really want out of life, and what you don't. This taught me a lot about planning further to make things easier for my kids.

So Mom elected to go to a Hospice care center.  The people there were wonderful.  They took good care of her and we got to stay with her all the time.  They even rolled her, in her bed, outside into a garden area! She loved that!  She had been stuck in a hospital room for 8 weeks. To go outside again was such a blessing.  They were very good at explaining how the body breaks down, with no food, or liquids being given.  She was made tough by all the things she had to deal with in her life. The great depression, an alcoholic father, loosing her spouse early on, loosing a child...this generation really knew how to suck it up and just keep going.  She showed such grace in her last days.  The beauty of her smile when the doctor's told her they would do as she wished and stop all treatments will stay with me forever.  You see, my Mom loved the Lord and she could not wait to get to Heaven to see Him at last.  Her faith was so strong, and her eagerness so displayed that when she woke up, looked around and saw that she was still her, she asked, "Why am I still here? I want to go to Heaven!".  She was at perfect peace.  She did not respond physically as Hospice patients normally do, she was there for two weeks, without food or liquids. She showed none of the usual signs we checked for every day....could the doctors have been wrong? No, she passed away that 14th day, just as she drifted off to sleep for the night, she slipped the bonds of this earth and went home to be with her dear Savior.  I look forward to seeing you again Mom, at my own homecoming party.  I miss you. She passed away on August 7. I will think of her every day, just as I have every other day of my life.

Cleaning her apartment after the funeral gave me the opportunity to see such beautiful linens that people today don't make anymore, treasured memories from childhood brought out in family photos, gorgeous aprons that brought back the smells and tastes of both my Mother's kitchen, and my Grandmother's, to my memory.  It was an honor to clean her apartment for her.  It also inspired me to make some new products.  I will be adding them to my Etsy store soon.  I have also expanded onto a really great site called : Craftsy.  You should check it out!

I missed a typical summer.  But the days with my Mom, and my daughters with her, and my sisters, are irreplaceable and I don't regret being there.

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