Posts Tagged ‘mother’

A close friend spent this past week at the hospital bedside of his brother.  Happiest of all possible endings to a long week!  Not only was his brother released to go home yesterday, but he accepted Christ as his savior!  Angels rejoiced!

I tell you that, to tell you this…Holding Hands with Elderly Patient

Thinking about the scenario of sitting at a loved one’s hospital bedside took me back.  A couple of years ago (has it been that long?!) my mom was in the hospital with congestive heart failure.  She’d been extremely restless so they sedated her deeply enough that she was basically in a medical coma.  I sat at her side for a week.  Watching her on a ventilator and unaware that I was there.  I touched her and talked to her.

I was approached by medical and hospital staff who did not expect her to survive.  I was asked end-of-life questions and asked to make final decisions.  I had no signed document stating that it was MY decision to make.  I felt it was not only my decision.  We haven’t had a very strong relationship for many many years.  I felt it was the decision of my brother and my uncle (mom’s brother).  But rarely were we in the room together when these people came to call with their questions.

About Thursday of that week, they decided to take her off the ventilator and allow her to slowly “wake up”.  Leaving her survival uncertain.  On Friday I went to visit again.  She was slowing coming around.  She was talking and answering the nurse’s questions appropriately.  They were amazed!

As the nurse questioned her about her children she named me and my brother.  And then, my other brother.  She recounted to the nurse how he was born with the cord around his neck and had died.  And how sad she was and how she still misses him.  Her speech was very slurred and she was still in and out of sleep.  But I understood every word and repeated it to the nurse so she knew mom was making sense. (why are my hands shaking as I type this?)  It was a precious day.  A day mom does not remember.

I live about 45 minutes away from mom and the hospital   So, knowing she was waking up and having been assured the staff would call me if needed, I chose to stay home that weekend.

When I returned on Monday she was fully awake and surprised to see me.  I said “look at you!” as she smiled.  “Yeah, look at me”, and then said something about how she’d been there for a while.  “I know”, I told her, “I was here all week”.  She had no idea, but seemed to gain a little comfort even after the fact.

I don’t remember if it was the Friday or that following Monday, but there was a day when a hospital Chaplain came to mom’s room to visit.  I have no idea what religious denomination she is affiliated with.  I don’t even remember her name.  I do remember she had some kind of little book with her…a small New Testament maybe?  What I DO remember is that my mother requested that she read her the 23rd Psalm.  You know the one…

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. KJV

It wouldn’t be my first choice, but it’s what gives mom comfort.  In fact, when my grandmother (mom’s mom) was dying she requested this verse also.  Grandma passed away shortly after.

I probably wouldn’t even remember this if it weren’t for the fact that this hospital chaplain DID NOT HAVE THE PSALM WITH HER TO READ!  Whatever little book or Bible she carried with her was not complete and she couldn’t recite it.

Daughter and technology to the rescue!  I picked up my trusty Blackberry smart phone and opened my You Version Bible app and read her the Psalm she requested.

Now, approximately two years later, mom is in a nursing home.  She shares a very small room with another resident.  It’s basically a long-term hospital environment.  I still don’t visit often.  In fact, much to my regret, I didn’t go see her this past Mother’s Day.  I have some physical issues of my own that stopped me.  Mom doesn’t have a phone so I can’t even call her.

I begin to digress so I’ll stop there.  I just wanted to share that precious memory with you all.  Thanks for stopping by and “listening”.


It’s Friday and we’re hoping that the weather cooperates this weekend so we can FINALLY get our garden planted!!  See these previous posts for garden construction pictures: How Does Your Garden Grow? and This and That.  Have a great weekend everyone!

Find me on Facebook HERE.


Read Full Post »

Hey y’all (IDK where that came from),

It’s been a long day.  Today is my mom’s 78th birthday.  My youngest daughter and her daughter went with me to visit mom. It’s a short road trip, but a road trip nonetheless.

Mom lives in a nursing home.  She isn’t physically well and gets around mostly via wheelchair.  She’s still sharp-witted, but her short-term memory is G O N E.  This makes for a difficult visit.

You can learn more about Isabel Bloom sculptures at http://www.ibloom.com.

You can learn more about Isabel Bloom sculptures at http://www.ibloom.com.

We know going in that we’ll talk about the same five or six stories over and over.  Same stories we always hear when we see her.  And if she has something new, we’ll hear it several times while there as well. She simply forgets she’s already said it. For instance, today we took her a lovely little spring robin sculpture (pictured).  Last year we’d taken her a similar gold finch. Today, she kept mentioning that she has a gold finch (which we know, we gave it to her), but that she couldn’t find it.  She wondered if someone had taken it.  At one point she picked up the robin and said “is this for  me?”, even though she’d opened the gift a short time earlier.  It’s hard.

And it’s frightening.

You see, I already have short-term memory difficulty!!  I think I’ve mentioned before (see what I did there? giggle!) how I can sing you almost any popular song from the 70’s and 80’s, or recite any TV theme song, but cannot seem to remember that my granddaughter told me several times that her turtle didn’t eat over the winter.  OUCH!  It’s happening.  I’m becoming my mother in the most unpleasant ways.

Besides the fact that I see her in my mirror and hear her voice come out of my mouth daily!

Please allow me to say here to my children…”I’m sorry” and “thank you”.  I’m sorry that you’ll have to deal with that as I get older. It’s tiring and very difficult.  And thank you for continuing to come visit me anyway!  I love you all so very much.

By the way, we found mom’s golf finch.  It was hidden under some other things she’s collected in her tiny space.

OK y’all (there it is again!), let’s all THINK SPRING together this week.  The robins have returned to the Midwest so we are ready! See you next time.

Read Full Post »

Hello Everyone,

I told you back in May about a GIFT I’d received.  It was precious.  I find myself clinging to that gift today as I contemplate going to my mom’s apartment to basically take any belongings that I want.  You see, she will not be returning to her apartment from the nursing home.  She just isn’t able to take care of herself.

We went to visit her this past weekend.  She expressed that she wants me to take her cedar chest and it’s contents (along with anything else I want).  This is another precious gift.  I can just smell the cedar as I type this!  But the unknown memories it contains will surely be the real gift.  I remember what it used to contain, but who knows what has been added over the years.  I remember being a little girl and sitting on the floor with her looking at the things she kept protected in this place of honor.  Items from her wedding including the Bible she carried and the small no-finger lace gloves (what are those called?!).  A few old portraits of her mother and one of my parents and me when I was very little.   Like a pirate who has at long last found that treasure chest, I am anxious to open the cedar chest and see what treasures it contains.

I am also wondering if other specific possessions are still there for me.  Things like the boxes of pictures from both sides of our family. The sewing machine she made my cloths on for several years.  A little worn out stuffed monkey that she wants to be buried with her (She was mine, her name is Judy).  Her jewelry box containing mostly costume jewelry that I used to also explore as if it were treasure.  A cookie jar that reminds me of innocent times and Toll House Cookies.  A small cedar box that was home to dress-up gloves I wore to weddings.  Oh, so many more items that used to be kept in drawers, closets and boxes.  I’m sure most are gone now as she’s moved several times since I left home.

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:21

This week, I believe my heart is in my childhood.  There are the memories I treasure.  Are my memories the real treasures?  Yeah, they are.

What treasures did your mother have that takes you back to that simpler time of childhood?  Are they still around?  Do you have those “smell memories” like cedar and Toll House Cookies?  Share with us.

P.S.  After posting this I realized that today is July 18th.  My dad’s birthday.  He would have been 85.  Just a surreal trip down memory lane lately!  🙂


Read Full Post »

I do not have a good relationship with my mother.  Never have, probably never will.  She’s said a lot of painful things to me since I was 17 years old.  She literally disowned me, “as far as I’m concerned I no longer have a daughter.”  She disapproved of every decision (whether right or wrong) I’ve made as an adult.  She told me that my children’s mistakes would be judged by others by saying “what do you expect with a mom like that”?  She refused to hold my newborn baby girl over 30 years ago.  In my eyes, she withdrew.  She made the choice.  I do not talk to my mom much. Nor do I go visit.  She lives only one hour away in my hometown.

I have been trying to reach her by phone for a week and finally left a message for my aunt or uncle to call me and let me know what’s going on.  Turns out mom has been in and out of the hospital and a nursing home for SIX WEEKS!  Her lungs were so full of fluids that she was in ICU and almost died.  No one called me.  Perhaps it was her choice, perhaps theirs.

So today I went to visit her in the nursing home, even though she’s supposed to go home tomorrow.  I dreaded the visit!  Figured I’d have the finger pointed and be questioned.  Feared confrontation. Feared judgement.  As I drove through my hometown, passed the old house, the high school, the hangouts,  I felt myself slip into a surreal place.  It’s changed so much and then suddenly it’s so familiar!  I felt God holding my hand, guiding my emotions even as my heart pounded.

And then, God gave me a very personal gift.  While visiting with mom I was reminded NOT of the judgemental conditional-love I’d remembered, but of a time when I was much younger.  When I had a stay-at-home mom who cooked, cleaned, sewed my clothes, baked cookies, lead my Camp Fire Girls group for several years. And ENJOYED doing these things!  She talked endlessly about leading the girls and  how she loved it and what a good job she had done.  And she had!  She talked a few times about how “we may not have had much financially”, but that she managed to have a well balanced, good home-cooked meal on the table every nice when my dad came home from work.  Not easy on a tight budget. And how when she’d have vegetable soup waiting for him he’d say, “How did you know I needed that?”  (Why didn’t I ever hear that?)

She talked about a trip they took before I was born.  They went with dad’s parents and his brother and wife to Pasadena for the Rose Bowl.  She hated that trip!  I’d heard the story before, but that’s OK.

The gift I received?  Truth.  Memories.  Light.  Relief.  Not the adult memories that I carry daily and have passed on.  But the memories of a very normal, pleasant midwest childhood.  Why is it that I take with me the garbage and not the good?  Does anyone else do that or is it just me?  I left home at 17 and never looked back.  And can only seem to remember the garbage that followed.  Granted, it was BIG STINKY ROTTEN GARBAGE!  But why can’t I focus on the pre-garbage era of my life?  

After I left her I drove by the three houses where I’d lived in town. Proud to say I didn’t get lost once!  🙂  That was very surreal! (I hate that word, but there’s none other to describe the feeling).  The old houses are all much smaller than I’d remembered.  Especially the first one.  The street was so narrow, room for only one way traffic. Drove by my first elementary school, middle school and high school.  If you haven’t seen where you grew up lately, I highly recommend it.  Humbling and eye opening.


Can you go back?  I don’t know the answer to that.  Can you erase years of bitterness you’ve carried?  I don’t know that either, but I do know that my God is bigger than the pain and those scars and can make me whole again!

I am the thorn in Your crown
But You love me anyway
I am the sweat from Your brow
But You love me anyway
I am the nail in Your wrist
But You love me anyway
I am Judas’ kiss
But You love me anyway
(You Love Me Anyway by Sidewalk Prophets)

Read Full Post »

Here it is, midweek already.  I haven’t been blogging here much, but I’ve been busy at “Hello, I’m a Carboholic“. 

So what shall we talk about?  The heat and humidity?  NAAHHHH!  I think we’ve all had more than enough of that subject. How about birthdays!  OK…

Say it isn't so!

One of my grandsons is the big 05 today, and as he says, “That’s a lot of fingers”!  However, his mother (my daughter) will be…well, one year over 29…in September.  GASP!  No, that’s not possible.  I cannot have a 30-year-old child.  Even though I have all those grandkids…having a 30-year-old just seems impossible.

I clearly remember turning 30 myself!  It was a Sunday, I was at church.  I may have even been wearing some tacky bright flowered shirt.  (Can’t remember what I did yesterday though)  I also remember being grateful that I even made it to 30.  Yes, bad choices and rough living can take a toll.  Sigh…OK, I guess it might be possible that she’s turning 30. 

Now days I am grateful that so many of those bad choices are behind me, yet struggle every day to maintain the new life.

“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” 2 Corinthians 5:17

So then I don’t have to STRUGGLE?!  The price is already paid for me?  Whooo hooooo!

Happy birthday to the Big 5-year-old.  And Happy Pre-Birthday to the … gulp! … 30-year-old. 

What mile-stones are your family celebrating this year?

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: