http://kathys-lifesong.blogspot.com/

About Me

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Daughter of God, wife, mother, grandmother, friend, daughter, sister, aunt. Always desiring to be better at all these.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Another One Gone

And now my brother has gone from this earth. He left us on February 20 after being critically ill for six weeks. He was a husband, father, grandfather, son, uncle and brother and dearly loved. He was a Viet Nam veteran (two tours), a pilot of helicopters and reconnoissance planes. He was a man of God, a musician and a gentle person. I am sorely grieved by his passing. The only comfort is knowing that he is with God and we will be together again.

I just wanted to hear his voice one more time.

Monday, September 5, 2011

The "New" New Year

September has become the "new" new year for me. Even though I no longer have children going to school (except for the granddaughter next door) there is something about getting back into the routine after summer that is comforting. I used to make New Year's resolutions on January 1, but now it seems that September might be the best time to do that. Things just feel more normal during the school year.

To catch up, our son and his boys moved back to Portland a couple of months ago as he finally found work again. They are happily back together as a family and even living in the same apartment complex as before. The boys will go to the same school and they are delighted to be back with their Portland buddies. I have been busy reclaiming my space in the house. I miss them, but know things are back as they should be with their family.

We had the boys here last week for a few days. They had a good time getting together with their best friends from last school year and going to the Fair and Rodeo. One whole day was spent riding the rides at the fair. Kevin loved the bumper cars and Nolan went nuts for the caterpillar roller coaster. Saturday we went to the parade and watched Kaytlyn ride with her drill team-her first experience riding in the parade. I hope we made some good memories.

This week Keith and I will be going camping with our Senior group from church. This is about the 4th year we have all gone together for the weekend after Labor Day. It is a fun and relaxing time after all the hub-bub of the Labor Day weekend.

Guess I lied about things slowing down! The last weekend of this month we are all going to the Oregon coast for a weekend. Then maybe it will slow down!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Reflection

My mother passed away on December 26, 2010 at the age of 89, but I feel like I lost my "real" mom nine years ago. Mom had a stroke on February 11, 2002 which left her complete paralyzed on the right side and without the ability to speak what she was thinking (aphasia). Her mind was still very good which was very frustrating for all of us. She had been a strong, independent woman as were many of her generation and to be reduced to needing help with everything was horrible for her. She spent six weeks in the hospital, during which time my dad died, then she came to us. She was in rehab for a couple of months, then came to live at our home where she stayed for six months. Then my brother took her home with him for over two years until he just couldn't do the 24/7 care anymore so he brought her back here to live in the nursing facility in town just one mile from my home.

For almost six years we worked at making sure her needs were met and spent countless hours with her. She was able to come to our house for holidays and special occassions until the last month of her life. She loved being with the grandchildren and great grandchildren and, most of all, sitting outside in the sunshine. Six years can be a long, long time!

The last two weeks of her life were stressful, sad and sweet all at the same time. She spent five days in the hospital and was able to make her own decisions about what treatment she did and did not want. When she returned to the nursing home, the staff there greeted her with hugs and kisses as she had become like one of their own family members and they loved her. In another six days, it became evident that the end was near and we began to stay with her in shifts 24 hours a day. My husband, daughter, son, daughter-in-law and myself each took 4-5 hour shifts to make sure she was not alone.

During that time, the staff was absolutely amazing. I don't think anyone left their work shift without coming to say goodbye to her and then coming in when they came back to see if she was still with us. They kept her comfortable and clean and took care of us at the same time. I want to describe some of that care in a later post, but here is part of my "eucharisteo" during that time:

205.Safe travel for family
206. Boy singing
207. Hospital care
208. Brother here
209. Hard hallelujahs
210. New snowfall
211. Bright boy eyes at Christmas tree
212. Wonderful Nursing home staff
213. Assurance of grace
214. Beautiful hymns
215. Boys eager for Santa
216. Shimmery tree lights
217. Christmas Eve quiet
218. Christmas morning excitement
219. Pecan pie
220. Hand carved walking stick
221. Precious memories with daughter
222. Good books
223. Family support
224. Pictures to help remember
225. Nursing home aides
226. Peaceful passing

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Surprises!

What a joy to come back today and see that I had received comments on my blog--such as it is. There are so many talented writers out there that I love to read. My list continues today--
11. Candles, feathers and rocks
12. Naps
13. Quilts-some pieced by one grandmother and quilted by the other.
14. A faithful husband
15. a cool morning with a hint of coming thunderstorms
16. Looking forward to vacation
17. Good medical reports
18. Memories of my father
19. Wind that clears the air and keeps the bugs away (but 55 mph??)
20. Mornings on the deck
21. Raspberries
22. The staff at the nursing home where Mom lives.
23. The scent of honeysuckle
24. Air conditioning!!
25. Watching granddaughter ride her horse well.
26. Sunshine at the beach
27. Grandson with us
28. Family memories
29. Early morning beach walk-snail trails, star fish, hermit crabs, rocks and shells
30. Flying kites
31. Shivery, wet children--all sandy
32. Sand castles
33. Running from the waves
34. Child--"Look, Nana, look!"
35. Fog
36. Tide pools
37. Jigsaw puzzles
38. Fresh seafood
39. S'mores in the fireplace
40. Safe trips back home

Monday, February 21, 2011

One Thousand Gifts

I have been following Ann Voskamp's blog www.aholyexperience.com for quite a while now and have been working on my own list of 1000 gifts. Since her book came out, I am moved to look daily at the microscopic and generous gifts God gives minute by minute. I am not sure I will post my whole list here, but certainly will celebrate when I get to 1000!! In the meantime, I am re-opening and trying this again.

Since our son and his two boys came to stay last June, our house has been a beehive of activity with school, laundry, swim lessons, LEGOS, wrestling, hugs and tears. This has been an especially hard journey for this little family with their Mom living and working 200 miles away while Dad looks for work. We are blessed with the time together with them and when they do move it will be a "hard eucharisteo".

Since I last posted, my mother finally left this earth on December 26th. Her last month was a rapid slide downhill (or a climb up) into eternity with her Lord. Our family spent the last few days taking turns sitting with her in shifts so that she would not be alone and were blessed by the staff at the nursing home where she lived. I will write more about that later.

1. Time with granddaughter
2. The beauty of the hills around our home
3. Our snug and cozy little house
4. The electric garage door opener (and the garage)
5. The instant hot water tap
6. Gold finches
7. The quail family that visited our yard
8. The bunny that lives under the shed
9. My new outdoor sitting/praying area
10. Lunch with my dear friend, newly widowed.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The End (for now)

I have decided to put this blog out of its misery--at least for now. I have too many little details nagging at me and I want to narrow things down. I will be working on my personal handwritten journal more often, hopefully. This is not to say I won't ever post here again, just not anytime soon.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Birthdays

Well, I am 70 today. Is that really true? The numbers don't sound right to me. If I am 70, shouldn't I feel like I have arrived, like I have it all together? Believe me, I do not feel that way. This journey is full of detours and distractions from the things we know to be the important things of life and yet, here I am wondering where it all has gone and what I will have left behind.

For me, birthdays are kinda like New Year's Eve. I like to look back and evaluate, then look forward and think about the future. Of course, I know that the past is gone, but it is a good teacher and there are no guarantees of the future, so I guess I will just work on today and enjoy what it has to offer while trying to make things better in some way. One day at a time, isn't that all we can handle?

Today looks to be a beautiful fall day. Maybe I will get out and enjoy the gorgeous colors and the sunshine for a little while, go visit my mother and spend time with my family this evening. Sounds like a plan!