Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Blue on blue

Spring has sprung so I was off to the salon for my Spring Pedi. The polish I chose was Finger Paints - Tiffany Impostor. In my case it was Toe Paints.

For most of the day, I had a great day today. I emailed a friend to tell her I felt as if I was coming out of a fog.

Then, driving home from my pedi, a melancholy mood settled over me. Once again I felt tearful. Last week was a rough week. I shed a lot of tears last week. Each time I feel I have cried enough, I find myself crying again. There are so many things that prick my heart and the tears well up in my mind. Easter was the first holiday since losing mother. On Easter Sunday I drove the two hours to my hometown. I met my dad at church. He still attends the church I grew up in - where I married my children's father, where my children were dedicated, where I took my children to church. Normally, when I walk into the sanctuary, the multitude of memories cause me to be overcome with emotion.  A while back the powers that be decided to remodel the sanctuary. Gone are the cobalt blue stained glass windows (there are no windows), and the pews have been replaced with chairs. The carpet is new, the walls were a putty brown with baby poop brown contrast. It is now more of a multi-purpose room. Therefore, no memories, no emotion. Part of me was relieved. I sat with my dad during the service.

After church, we went out to eat. Then we took my mother's black mustang convertible out for a spin. (A family member will soon inherit mother's car.) The day was beautiful, full of sunshine and warmth, the temperature hovering around 75 degrees. We drove through one of the most beautiful areas in Henry County - Blue River Valley. We drove out in the country and looked at the Big Blue River. After that, we drove east on state road 36 to Summit Lake State Park. State Road 36 took us to the homes of both of my grandparents. We drove out that road for visits with them nearly every Saturday when I was a girl.

Summit Lake State Park is a park where I would go to contemplate life, to camp with my son, a place where I spent a lot of wonderful, special times. Driving around the park made my heart ache.
After mother was unable to hike about, dad used to take mother to the park for rides and to see wildlife. He pointed out to me places where they saw deer and a skunk. When we got out of the car to take a short hike, dad pointed out where he pushed mother in her wheelchair on a trail. For both dad and I, this park was a special place.

When it was time to head back to my house, dad told me my visit meant more to him than I would ever know. He said "we made a memory today - someday we will look back on this and remember when we took mother's car out for a drive." Then he told me that ride may have been the last time he would drive mother's car.

Through losing mother, I have changed. I look at myself in the mirror and the eyes that look back are vacant. I look tired. I am tired.
In these few weeks which have seemed like an eternity to me, I have changed. I am trying to take it slower. I am trying to forgive myself. I am trying to look past ignorance and people who are self-absorbed. In the past, if someone did something bad, I would think jerk! Now, I feel sorry for them.

While trying to navigate life following this profound loss, I have also been struggling with feelings concerning another situation which hurt me greatly. The line between hurt and anger blurred. Where, when and how does that happen? Sometimes I feel that when I am hurt I are being a vulnerable and then when the anger takes over I feel stronger. I used to carry a card in my wallet that read: Refusing to forgive keeps you in the role of the victim. When I don't forgive, I am giving the one who caused the pain power over me. By forgiving them, I am in control of myself and my own happiness. I always try to look at experiences and see what I can learn from it. I try to be the bigger person. I also try to realize where the other person is coming from. I try to think about what is going on in their life and what are they reacting to? I often say "they will get theirs." I have seen this happen over and over. What you give out comes back to you. Holding on to hurt accomplishes nothing. Today, I let it go. In my heart, I forgave, and it felt wonderful. I felt the weight lift from me. I have enough pain to process due to mother's death without allowing other circumstances to cause more pain.

What are you carrying around inside of you? Who do you need to forgive?

Saturday, April 5, 2014

A day

One month ago today, March 5th at 9:10 a.m., my life forever changed as a part of me departed this world. It changed me. How could it not?
Despite knowing my mother's health was declining, despite watching her struggle to breathe, despite sitting with her in hospice, clutching her hand in mine, it was a shock. A numbing shock. I still cannot believe she is gone.
My mother is dead, my mother is dead, my mother is dead. I never verbalized these words, but they rolled around inside my head making a horrible racket like marbles in a bucket, making me want to scream. 
I am more contemplative, more serious, more quiet, more tired. Exhausted. Even now, writing these words, a wave of nausea flows through me.
She hadn't yet passed the first time I thought of calling her. We took Little Bee swimming and she swam for two and a half hours. Natalie and I were walking down the hall, hand in hand, when I thought I need to call Mother and tell her about Natalie swimming. Then it occurred to me- I will never call her again. I have thought about calling her to tell her what is going on several times since.  We've had torrential rains this past week and flooding. Mother always watched the weather here and would call me to make sure I was o.k.
Last night a friend came from out of town and was my overnight guest. We ate out last night, we came home, changed into comfy clothes, I made a fire and we talked.
This morning, hair disheveled and eyeliner smudged, we sat, wearing pajamas, drinking coffee and talking.  I laughed. I yelled. I carried on.
We talked and talked and talked. She listened as I went back to the subject repeatedly - "mother this, mother that, since we've lost mother..."
We ate good food-delicious food and consumed some excellent beers.
Today, we drove from Bloomington to Nashville, Indiana and walked a bit. Then we drove the back roads and hills and through mud, with the windows down and sunroof open. We were silent. We breathed in the smells of spring, of earth bursting forth with fronds and green and sprouting and growth. We got a little lost and found our way again.
And I felt more like me than I have in months.
Today was a day. It was a good day.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Getting back to normal

Getting back to normal - perhaps I shouldn't use the word "normal."
Perhaps I should say "routine."
I was one of those people who always sent out Christmas cards. Always.
Once again, I did not get many cards sent out. 
Little Bee

On Thursday, December 12th, I flew to the east coast for my Christmas visit with my girls. Little Bee will be three in March. (HOW did that happen?)
Because I want her to grow up believing she is an artist, the two of us have started to "do art" together. She loves it. I have introduced her to wooden stamps. For this visit, I put together card kits and she made Christmas cards for Mama and Mommy.
She loves to dance and sing and tease. She cuddles and runs away.
Life is so much better with Little Bee. My visits with my girls always go by too quickly.

On Saturday, the 14th, I went to bed with a sore throat.
On Sunday, the 15th, I flew back to Indiana and on my flight my left ear popped.
It comes and goes but there are still times I cannot hear.

When I woke on Monday the 16th, I was running a fever and knew I couldn't return to work.

On Tuesday the 17th, I called the doctor but they could not get me in to the office and advised me to go to the walk-in clinic.
On Wednesday, I felt determined and rallied and returned to work.
Big Mistake. I returned home that evening feeling terrible.

On Thursday the 19th, I was up early and the first to be seen at the walk-in clinic. I  was diagnosed with a severe sinus infection and went home with four meds.

We were supposed to leave for North Carolina for Christmas with my son on Friday the 20th.
Also, my mother was hospitalized.
Because I had been so ill, and had just started my meds, we postponed our departure until Saturday a.m.

Saturday the 21st, we were up early to load the car. I was so worried about my mother and questioning if I should be going on this trip that I was sick. I was crying and nauseous and kept taking packing breaks to lie on the bed until my stomach settled down.
I decided I would have faith that she would be fine.
Finally, we hit the road. 
Friends since age 17.
Moi, my friend Laura (whom my daughter is named for)
and my Welsh Pembroke Corgi, Chelsea.

Each day I continued to improve.
I was in constant communication with my family regarding my mother's health.
It was her desire was to get to go home from the hospital for Christmas and she was released on the 23rd.

We stayed with my son and his future wife in their new home.
We visited with my friend Laura who also lives in the Triangle.
It was a restful, sweet visit. Following a Christmas Eve gathering, we woke early and hit the road to drive back to Indiana on Christmas Day.

My future daughter-in-law, Dino
My son, Bradley
et Moi
We thought it would be an adventure to drive back home on Christmas day. There were few travelers on the road. And, it was difficult to find anywhere to eat. We saw a Waffle House was open and went in. It was standing room only and we opted to press on. Finally, we found a truck stop plaza sort of place which had a food court.

On the 26th and 27th, I worked. There were stacks of work, but in two days I was caught up.

On Saturday, the 28th, the first real opportunity I had to do so, I drove to my hometown to see my mother. She was not well. I spent the day with my parents. Finally by late evening, my dad persuaded my mother to go to our local hospital. The ambulance took her and I met my parents at the emergency room. By one a.m., it was determined my mother would be transferred to Indianapolis. I drove over and met her there and stayed with her until five a.m. I returned home at six a.m.
Sunday, the 29th,  I slept for five and a half hours and we went to the movie theatre.

I went to work on Monday the 30th and yesterday, the 31st.

Today, we drove to Indianapolis to see my mother, again.
It seems we are getting closer to a solution.
Time marches on.

Although I am not yet ready to summarize 2013, I welcome the New Year and getting back to normal.
Wonder why I did not get many Christmas cards sent out?

Happy New Year