Friday, July 26, 2013

Looking back to June 18, 2012...Saddest Day

This is a letter I sent to family and friends after Daddy died:

Yesterday was a very sad day for all of us here...Daddy went to run errands in the afternoon and came home not feeling well.(very odd because he has always been the picture of health) Thankfully Brett was already home from work and he came out into the apartment with me to see what was up....Dad's blood sugar was very high, he was sweating and having trouble breathing...we asked if he wanted to go to the hospital and he said no he needed to restroom. Brett helped him and he vomited what he had eaten and then said he felt better. (We thought maybe he had food poisoning) He wanted to lie down but each time he reclined, he could not get enough oxygen. I asked again if I should call the ambulance and he said "yes we better check this out." I quickly called...while awaiting he was sitting on the bedside...Brett in front and me to the left side. A policeman arrived and said the ambulance had to drive from a neighboring town (10 miles) but would be here quickly. As we waited, we told Daddy how much we loved him...what an awesome man he was...I sang "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus…there’s just something about that name" to him...and I told him in my head that if he could see the light, to run to it. And he did...we were holding him up as he quietly and quickly ran home to Jesus.

We have SO much to be thankful for...

He lived his life with honor and integrity...loving every person he met. He has the BEST smile of any I've ever seen!

He loved Mom with every inch of his being...devoted and faithful for 55 years.

His PhD is in family and home...he was not distracted by sports or hobbies. He worked hard to provide for us and was home loving us when not working.

Thankful for every day he shared with us here at Sonshine Acres!

SO thankful that he did not go HOME last week when we were gone on vacation.

Praising God that He allowed Brett and me to walk with him to the gates of heaven.

Thankful that he did death like he lived life...gracefully! If you know my Daddy, you know there was not one bit of drama in him. True and steady!

PS---The lead EMS man thought it was a massive heart attack from what little he saw. Mom does not understand much at this point of her Alz. We took her into the apartment after he was gone and she didn't seem to recognize him. We will be staying with her in the apartment for the near future and seeing what our new life looks like. God knows right where we are and He knows what we need...GOD IS FAITHFUL!!

Additional notes 6/23/12: After more research and talking to Dad’s Dr. we know his symptoms and the suddenness pointed more to a pulmonary embolism. He came in from running errands and was gone in less than 30 minutes.

Where have I been?

I ordered some new books! I LOVE to read but have not been doing it for a long time. My current read is "Mothering Mother" by Carol O'Dell. If you are in the trenches, caring for an Alzheimer's patient, it is a MUST read. I read to my gals as we travel in the car. I am not driving much anymore as K and C both are. I sneak in reading parts alone when I can. She writes short snippets of life with her Mother. I was charmed by the made me remember how much I LOVED mothering my 7 children. AND it made me think about how I could transfer that to my experience now of caring for Mom as she UN-ages. She is now in the 2-3 year old range.

The book also made me think about how much I used to enjoy writing. I have dreamed of writing a book someday...just never thought I knew something anyone else would want to read about. So now I am back as times allows.

Since my previous post in 2010 several life-changers have occurred. First I was involved in a horse accident that resulted in many broken ribs. Suddenly, I was incapacitated and of no help to anyone for months. We quickly had a five foot high fence built around 1 acre at the back of our home. We hated the idea of being fenced in but Momma was running off up to 5 times a day and I couldn't help at all. Our "LOCK DOWN" unit has been a life and mind saver. Mom can go out her back door and walk around or come into my back door without the possibility of "escaping". We had to get used to locking and unlocking to get to the driveway or into the side and pasture gates but the safety and freedom for Mom has made it more than worth it. We have a lock on the driveway gate with letters set to L-O-R-D for fast entry and exit...the livestock gates are keyed locks.

We have only lost her once since the fence was installed. One day she was outside and I was out front working. I thought I'd not seen her at the gate in a few minutes. I asked everyone if they had seen her and no one had. RED ALERT! We all started looking...the only possible way for her to get out would have been to go through the barn into pasture and climb through livestock fencing. The minutes dragged as we searched everywhere. I grabbed my phone to dial 9-1-1 when one of the gals screamed "Here she is!" She had gotten into one of Jon's parts cars and rolled the window down. Her hands were securely on the wheel at 10 and 2...I feel sure she was driving home to "OKLAHOMA" ;)

The other life-changer was Daddy heading home to Heaven unexpectedly in June 2012. I wrote every night after he died and will cut and paste some of that in another post. We miss him so! I immediately moved into the apartment with Momma. It was a crazy time of trying to grieve as I learned all I needed to know about Mom's care and still be a wife and Mom somehow. GOD IS FAITHFUL! I tell people all the time that God has been faithful to provide ideas and encouragement each time we need it. We are on a hard part of our journey.

Now you can understand why I've been missing in action. I didn't want you to think it was the "soap operas and bon-bons" thing!!!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

For the Love of God

In my earliest memories as a child there is Mom singing about Jesus. I imagine that Mom has always known him, growing up in a family with strong faith. As an only child, Mom was lonely and needed a friend to be with her. She didn't have to go far to find her pretend best friend. His name was...Jesus! She sat a seat for him at the dinner table. They played dolls in the living room. She held the door open for him as they ran out to play. He went with her EVERYWHERE. Her Mother eventually became irritated by his presence at all times but she really couldn't get angry since it was Jesus!

Now He is here with us again...usually in songs. Mom doesn't sing anymore as she has lost her words. Her strong, lovely alto voice bellows out notes with no words. I had told a friend she was humming incessantly for most of the day and often far into the night. When she sat with her one day, she informed me that it was not humming..."you can't hum that loudly!" Her song of choice is "Jesus, Jesus, Precious Jesus. Oh by faith to trust Him more"...her mind is stuck on that phrase of notes and repeats it over and over, faster and faster, louder and louder.

It begins early in the morning and continues throughout the day and into the night. When she wakes during the night she begins again. There are NO earplugs that block the sound. One day I was telling Maggie about it and she said, "Ms. Jane you need to get some DUCT Tape" I had a visual of Mom's mouth taped shut, I giggled and said that wouldn't be very nice . She quickly revealed her idea "You can put one pillow on each side of your head and tape them on" HA!

I've learned to tune the music out much of the time. I can sometimes interrupt it by playing a CD and at least get her to change tunes as the CD plays. It can become nerve wracking to hear the same notes for a large part of the day. But it could be so much worse...she could be tone deaf or I often think what it would be like without Jesus as her main squeeze. She could be serenading us with "99 bottles of beer on the wall, 99 bottles of beer, take one down and pass it around, 99 bottles of beer on the wall!"