I haven't been on my blog lately. I guess Facebook has taken over my computer time but really there is something more intensely personal about blogging. When I think of a blog I almost have the feeling of "cozying" up to a fire with a book and settling in for an evening. I am actually home alone for the day which has not happened in a bit. I should be cleaning but thought I would visit here and share that I will be welcoming twin grandchildren in March or February. They will be a boy and a girl named Emerson Jane and Sawyer Franklin. Vincent and Susan are going to be great parents. I am so happy for them as they begin their family and learn along the way how to parent.
I spent the afternoon in the yard finally getting things cut and composted that I should have done in the fall but was unable to get to because of Mom being sick. I thought although it was a little cold and windy, that in light of the severe weather and devastation of tornadoes we had in Kentucky, I should do a little clean up around here. This clean up does not even begin to compare with those that lost their lives, homes and property. I just felt the urge to be out in the air, cleaning and felt the need to prepare for spring.
This naturally had me thinking of Mom. She wanted so badly to live to see another spring. She cherished the feeling of rebirth, second chances and redemption. She loved all the things that spring unfolds. She anticipated watching everything that has been wrapped up tightly, kept safe from winter's cold, getting ready to burst forth in warmth and glory. She always thought people were like that too. She believed the best about people and their condition and always looked for and expected them to make the right decisions and choices. She had a strong connection to what was right and wrong and really thought everyone did or had the potential to whether they regularly exercised the option or not.
She prided herself on being a free thinker. She firmly believed we were given brains for a reason and that we are not to blindly follow without first thinking things through. Because of this and the intense need she had for making good choices, she really bristled up when anyone tried to tell her what to do without giving her the option of "mulling it over" first. Even well meaning people have suffered through the wrath of Mom thinking she was being discounted or that her ideas and thoughts were being pushed into the dreaded corner of "having to do as told".
I think it is because of Mom's dislike of being bossed around, that she indirectly became known as an encourager. People would choose to come to her to "unload" and ultimately seek advice and wisdom. She would never tell you what you "ought to do" or "had" to do. She would instead listen and eventually plant the seed gently that she thought might help someone out of their predicament. She would wait and let the person affected come to the conclusion of what would be the best thing to do all on their own. She liked to empower that way.
I don't really know how the longing for being outside and preparing for spring made me want to write of mom and make this post. I just felt the intense desire to talk about her. I really mourned and wished she could have been alongside, feeling the warmth, smelling and touching the earth, pondering the possibilities right along with me. Strangely, she was. The sunshine warmed me and felt like her fingers stroking my hair. I could hear her exclaim and sigh through me as I discovered each new sight of green poking up from under the soil. Clearly, she continually lives through my eyes. I just need to be still, listen and feel.
Just how do you say goodbye to a mother? I have kept myself absorbed and busy with the task at hand. Making her as comfortable as possible, shopping for little things she needs, cleaning some and constant trips to and stays at the hospital. What I cannot face is to never hear her voice again. To never smell her sweet smell. To never hug her and laugh with her. To not ever again pick up my phone and call her once or twice a day just to check in and see how her day went. Recently, I have spent as many hours as I possibly can right by her side but in day to day life there was rarely a day that went by that I did not talk to her. How do I begin to make those same connections with other people like I have done with my Mom for almost 55 years? I am the only daughter and only grandaughter of two strong women. I am numb almost. Going through the motions. I just do not want her to suffer in any way and I am helpless to fix anything. So I do my best. Fluff pillows, get ice, place aquaphor within her reach and love her.
Mom had another set back. She unlocked the door in anticipation of home health coming and somehow when home health arrived, she was on the driveway with her head bleeding and incoherent. She wound up with a skull fracture and concussion with bleeding to the brain. She was in ICU from Friday until Sunday and now in a regular room. She is in lots of pain and has yet to be mobile because of the severe vertigo, Meds ordered last night to control the vertigo so hopefully that will help. Keep her in your prayers.
I have not been posting to blogger very much in the last year. Seems as though facebook has taken over but I really want to try and post here more often. Just posted a cover of an iron and wine song my son Travis did just recently and thought I would take the opportunity to post what has been going on lately. My mom has been battling pancreatic cancer. It all happened rather suddenly and it seems as though we have all lost summer and fall as a result. She had been sicker than usual this summer and we were not sure why. She had made some trips to the emergency room only to be told she had pancreatitis. Come to find out...what was really happening ...was cancer. She underwent the Whipple procedure on September 13 and was lucky to have been one of the twenty percent who get a chance to even have the surgery. It is a major surgery right up there with transplants. She seemed to be healing nicely but developed a fistula from the pancreas which has made her have to keep the drain tube in much longer than was anticipated. She stayed in hospital two weeks then came to my house for two weeks. I took her home on Sunday night only to discover Monday morning there was a swelling developing underneath her incision. They put her back in the hospital and did surgery again on Tuesday to clean out an infection that had been festering beneath the site the whole time. She just got out yesterday. The bandages will have to be changed twice a day until the wound heals. This could be weeks or it could be months. She still has the feeding tube and the drain tube in place that also have to be cleaned and flushed. She has been able to eat very little and as a result has lost over thirty pounds in six weeks. Nothing she eats smells or tastes good to her to the point of making her sick. It has been a chore trying to keep her hydrated and nourished even a little, which in turn makes her even more tired. The irony of this is how much she has always enjoyed food. It has been one of her greatest pleasures in life. I am wanting so badly to get her stronger before she has to begin chemo and radiation. The fortunate news is that there was no evidence of cancer cells in the lymph nodes or in surrounding organs from the biopsy done at the initial surgery. There were however cells found around the margins of the pancreas. She will have five weeks of chemo (pill form) and radiation. Please pray that her body heals, that her spirits lift and she develops and keeps a positive outlook and increased faith that with each healing day she has been given a chance for living. I fear that the fighting part of her spirit is giving up.
I have not been on the blog for quite some time now. I have been so super busy this summer learning how to be a grandmother and then getting a classroom ready that I have had little time for myself or others that I love for that matter. I have been wishfully (somewhat selfishly) thinking I would love some sitting time by a creek or running water. It is hard to find that here, living on the side of a busy road like we do. Running water and trees and quiet brings me great happiness. Really much more than happiness... more like a calm peaceful bliss that kinda takes over my soul like nothing much else can. The coming of Autumn always makes me feel a little like this. I get a rather deep feeling of melancholy and longing this time of year. Can't help it. It just takes hold. I have a need to embrace it and feed it.
We did take a trip to Nashville and Kentucky Down Under last weekend and I got a few pictures of our short little spelunking adventure. It was fun but a little overpriced for what they had to offer. We also took a trip to the Loveless Cafe in Nashville while there. Even though the Biscuit Lady is no longer alive, the biscuits and preserves were just as good as always. Someone must have been watching and learning along the way and a special angel is in heaven looking down guiding and overseeing the biscuit making. Worth a trip to Nashville just for the biscuits, peach preserves and fried chicken. We bought Trav a guitar pick and a container of the biscuit mix to take home and left it there. Oh well, there is always next time.
Spring is absolutely here. Lettuce is coming up nicely and all was right with the world until a couple of days ago. The rains have started and they just do not know how to stop. Our oldest is in Nashville, where we are all anxiously awaiting the arrival of a new grandson. Hoping now he will wait like he should because the city is just having the worst flooding they have ever experienced. Really afraid if we get the word to travel now, we will not be able to find our way easily. Praying that people all in this flood zone are making their way to safety and get a dry warn place to lay down their heads tonight and in the coming days. We have had a tremendous amount of rain in Ky. but noting like the devastation Nashville has had in the last 24 to 36 hours. Video I have seen is awful.
Went to see Over the Rhine again last Saturday. They were wonderful as always. I am a little bit sad that there are no true music venues for small independent groups though. If someone had the right spot and just a little cash, there would be money to be made and a lot of very happy people. It is hard for me to understand why a University town would not have more music in on a regular basis. There are great spots all over campus that have wonderful acoustics and just the right amount of seating. Just the acts that come in for WoodSongs alone would do well if they were here the day or the night after the Woodsongs taping. Oh well..... Here are a few pics. The lighting was dim and the lights were different colors so quality not great but it was a very good show.
I always get a little nostalgic in fall and spring. In fall, I dislike everything (plant life and all) dying but there is a sense of acceptance because everything has played out and it is time. As much as I love spring and the wonderful feeling all of the new life around me brings, I can't help but to feel a little melancholy. I think of all the people in my life that have passed and are no longer on this earthly world to experience the beauty of rebirth one more season. I spent the afternoon trimming, unearthing, raking, plowing and planting and could not help but to think of the people I love while I was experiencing the excitement and anticipation of new life.
I am married, teach kindergarten and have three grown sons,two daughter-in-laws and a grand daughter. We just moved this past year and are very busy doing things to the house and yard. The name Tishy came from my niece and just kinda stuck. People at work tend to call me that too after having heard my niece use it.