The way to love someone
is to lightly run your finger over that person's soul
until you find a crack,
and then gently pour your love into that crack.
~Keith Miller

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Driving home (Hot spot rocks ...)

Early this morning I drove Tommy's freshly washed truck from Mamma's over to his house and backed it into his driveway ... it took a couple of tries to get it right and I pegged that landscaping light again though it's none the worse for the wear.  It was a bit emotional for me, leaving Momma's apartment, I watered the plants and carried out the trash, ordinary things ... we will be back next week to make arrangements for her furniture ... for her things.  When she asked what would become of her household items, I asked her if it might be okay for us to keep everything pretty much together to furnish the place at Port A which we intend to buy as soon as possible (and it's getting pretty close I think).

My body is absolutely exhausted.  And ... I'm not that sleepy.  I feel just ... weary ... kinda weepy ...
not at all like myself ... everywhere is sore.  I need some serious walking to work out the kinks these next few days, hope Sammy remembers our path.

Saying "see ya later" to my brother kinda snuck up on me last evening, my eyes filled up again ... I don't like to burden him with my grief ... normally I would lean on him during "a time like this" but just now I need him to use every bit of his energy to just get better.  He is still in the hospital, getting stronger ... he will be able to eat now so that will give him a good support as he works towards remission.  I am grateful for that ... and the process of becoming a viable candidate for the surgery which makes eating possible has been an answer to prayers.
Prayer, why does it matter?  Before this I thought I had settled on the notion that prayer changes the heart of the person who is praying ... and I think, yeah, still that.  But/And ... more.  Does it turn the attention of God to our matters?  I don't know ... I've always heard He knows what we need before we pray ... and I've read that we have not because we ask not.  One thing I've noticed for sure during these last several weeks ... people approach the throne in all different ways.  I'll be thinking about prayer more.  I do know it makes me feel less alone.  I feel that God is present and trustworthy.
So ... a see ya and a sisterly admonition to get better this next week, no lulling around at the hospital (those nurses really do cater to him ... I'm so grateful for them... he said, "stronger every day" ... and it does appear that he is on track with that approach.

It just doesn't make much sense to me to cry.  I like that people can ... I just don't give my self permission to much, makes it hard to see, and how does one make time for that?
Something I hope I have learned well enough to retain is that when I can't figure out what to do next it's probably because I am getting ahead of what God is working out.  This entire experience with Momma's illness and subsequent death has been like a crash course in "God Knows What He Is Doing 101".  When big stuff happens fast it's easier to see that something significant is happening and maybe, just maybe significant stuff is always happening ... maybe everything is more important then it seems ... ummm ... more ordered(?) ... more in order(?) .... more as it should be.  The "little pieces" may be a big deal as they combine to make up the "big pieces" of our lives.  I am not a person who leans towards thinking stuff is just happenstance, but I have believed the threads of our days are less tightly woven then it now seems to me.    The sequence of events for my momma fell together perfectly, as a swirling line of dominos falls when they are lined up well and set in motion.  I couldn't see the invisible hand, but it seems that Momma did ... did see real people, places, activities which I could only see her seeing.

It'll take me a while to circle in on my thoughts about these past few weeks ... everything happened so very fast.  At the beginning of March we didn't know she was not well ... and now I am sitting in the passenger seat while L drives us home ... just past the airport at Jennings ... there is a begonia resting in the bowl that my  momma served Cranberry Fluff in every Thanksgiving right behind me in the back seat ... tonight I get to sleep in my own bed ... it's a lot ... not much, just a tiny bit too much, it makes my tummy tighten and my eyes leak.

I posted those pics below, before this post, with the intention to come back and fill in.
Here's what I can say right now though ... I got to hold my momma while she passed ... it wasn't horrible.  It seemed really right for me to be there and ... as I look back on it, I recognize that I expected to help her through this all along.  I wanted her to not need to be afraid and it turned out that she wasn't.  It was very much like a beginning.  I think things are well with her. And ... for my brother ... he gets stronger every day ... and that is really good.  A thing like this tends to "re-boot" ones perspective.

I'm thinking about that ... and when I rest up a bit I'm gonna check in on how I "feel" (it might be messy).

For now ... a few days with my family is what's next.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

better little things

Hesperaloe parviflora
The flowering stalk of this plant reaching towards the overcast layer outside the hospital ... a little thing that encouraged joy.  Here's a better overview of the plant ... and someone's good info on it.

H is for Hesperaloe Parviflora

Larry drove me all over the place
this taken probably North of Lake Travis
on the way to a pleasant day sipping wine and eating yummy food
I really liked being back in Texas

this is the "icebox" at Mueller's in Taylor
that root beer was tempting
Tommy ... seems like every time something unpleasant happened while he was in the hospital, or even at home ... I would look at him to see how that was effecting him and seems like every single time, and there were a lot of them, he'd shrug and say, "it's a little thing...".  I think that may exemplify the attitude that's going to get us all through this thing.  I think it's pretty neat to toss some of that stuff, the crappy stuff, in to the little thing bucket ... off load the little stuff. And what I'm trying to do is off set the yucky little things by making time to notice the nice little things, and there are a lot of them.

24 April 2014

What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us;
 what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.
Albert Pike

My Brother

hospice and the hospital ...


Those who have the strength and the love to sit with a dying patient in the silence that goes beyond words will know that this moment is neither frightening nor painful, but a peaceful cessation of the functioning of the body. ~ Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

I had seen birth and death but had thought they were different. ~T.S.Eliot

Saturday, April 19, 2014

"Hallelujah" - Kelley Mooney's adaptation of Leonard Cohen's

All is calm again ... quiet.
Today my momma was entirely herself for the first time, it seems to me, in probably 39 years.  She had a few very pointed instructions for me to see to after her death.  Just stuff for a to do list. And ...

She comforted me.  She said, "Thank you for being such a sweetheart with me, I know it has not been easy.  And thank your family for everything they have done to make this possible for you, I know you have been missed." And this ... "Let us agree that God intends good for us and that all things work together for His good purposes ...even death.  I know that I am dying.  I am at peace with that."
I didn't expect that.  And ... it surprises me how much it means to me to hear her say those words.

I had planned to stay with her tonight, but I think I am needed more over at my brother's house ... my Aunt Faye called and said I better get in the truck and drive to his house ... that Momma has a whole bunch of people to see to her and that she would want me to be with my brother right now.  So I did.  I think she is right.

I can hear him snoring softly in the next room.  He said, "I am glad you are here" and fell back to sleep.  He seems better then he did earlier today.  Rest helps.

It's rough ...

Doctor said it would soon for Momma. 

I want to help my momma die, but I need to help my brother live. 

This is the day that the Lord has made;

    let us rejoice and be glad in it. 
~Psalm 118:24

This little memento was left, wrapped as a gift, in Momma's room.  Very special.  I feel very tender to the sweetness of it.
(And, she did love the roses.)

Friday, April 18, 2014

containers ... along 79

Good Friday ... Easter Sunday approaches, first ... today.
I am thinking about a sermon, almost forgotten ... but this ... He can roll back hearts of stone as well.

Now I have enjoyed two nights of sleep, last night was a bit tossyturny as I wrestled with thoughts best pushed forward to where all the pieces might be on the table.  Sometimes when I sleep, and especially when I am a bit overtired, my "stuff" comes spilling out.  One of my coping strategies is to compartmentalize stuff.  It works mostly really well for me, except when it doesn't work well at all.  My stuff has been spilling out a bit today ... . I think with Momma well cared for at the Hospice House I have time and space to "leak" a little.  But ... let's don't right now.  This is a sweet moment.  The apartment is perfectly quiet ... the kind of quiet that I am able to imagine cicadas singing in to ... the quiet where I can be thankful for answered prayers.  It's pretty bad, but it could feel a lot worse.  It feels like it's going to get better and better.

I was able to spend the day with my brother.  He was not good company ... I'll give him a break on this one as he is quite nauseas from the chemo.  It's  impressive to observe how he is holding his ground on this stuff.  I think it might actually be pretty straight forward for him if it weren't for the GT obstructions.  Infusion today to help push back the nausea ... hopefully  he will be able to hold something down tomorrow.   And ... hopeful is exactly what this experience is coaching me on.  I hope.

The plan is to keep Mom's apartment for a few months (and it is an answer to prayer that the building management can allow that).  I can be here to help get her settled in at the nursing center.  It's impossible to guess how long she has, sometimes I would say days, other times I think maybe a few months.  I'd like to stay here near by as long as she may need me.  My family is able to support that wish too and I am very thankful for that.
I am grateful to have this time with my brother and his precious wife too.

Here are a few shots from my phone these last couple of days ...
Momma @ Hospice House
and this very sweet Great Pyrenees
 came calling
(seemed like Sammy was sending a hug)
Black-eyed Susan's blooming along the on ramp
UT stadium in background
cool looking cut off valve cover plate
clouds low and dense this morning
a surprise for Momma tomorrow
they smell so great - perfect!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

How it's going ...

 It's funny how it goes
or seems to go

my sleep has been necessarily so erratic of late
I'm not sure that I am a reliable source for
how it goes
my mom hallucinates
at first it was of nice little things
like laughing babies
and small well mannered pets
then adult people but still small in size 
maybe as small as your hand
tiny friendly strangers

later the hallucinations became paranoid type stuff
she calls out in her whispery voice for help

4:30 am x2/pain x1/hal - coherent
7:30am awake, expresses in pain, coherent, all "morning" meds
9:00am doesn't want water, pain okay
help comes to bathe mom and she is sound asleep during the process 
next med due @ 11:30
she is asleep
gave "noon" meds at 1:00 - coherent
nurse and her supervisor here for weekly visit
"did she have her shower?"
"my mom is bed ridden, she was bathed in her bed"
"did she have a shower?"
"my mom is unable to walk, she can not get in the shower she was bathed in her bed"
"I ordered a shower"
"well, the shower lady was kind enough to provide a sponge bath today

It's funny how it goes
or seems to go

The nurse observes that mom's lungs are not fully functional
(and later oxygen is ordered, delivered, and I am instructed on its use)
"What has she eaten today?"
"Two sips of ensure, 
a few sips of broth from Chicken noodle soup, 
a bite of yogurt ... 
she has to remember how to swallow after every sip.
She is having trouble swallowing ... her pills ... water ... "
"You can crush her pills up and mix with apple sauce."
(There is a growing feeling that no one is actually listening)
"On a scale of one - ten, one being fully functional, where do you think my moms lung are at?"
"Well, she has been in bed all day, not up moving around ... "
I wait for an answer with a number in it, but that was the answer.
"So, do you want oxygen or no?"
I say yes.
I ask, "How will I know when she needs it?"
I think the answer was Oh, you'll know!
It's funny how it goes
or seems to go
"Reposition her every two hours
when you turn her, offer fluids
all pills okay to crush per pharmacist"
next meds due at 5-
"evening" meds given at 6:20 pm
"bedtime" med given at 10:30pm, crushed in three spoonfuls of chilled applesauce
she accepts only two 
@1:30am she attempts to sit up in bed with feet towards floor
"You hurt my back" she says when I come near
1:30 am x2/pain x1/hal - incoherent
I lay down with her
holding her hand, I fall asleep
2:37 am x1hal - hallucinating
lots of angry talk directed at me 
"Please don't yell at me Momma"
"Don't cause me to!" she says
I say the words don't hurt
and it's true they don't hurt my head, but they do
hurt my heart.
I step out of the room, she is quiet, maybe asleep
2:57 she needs water
3:30 she is sitting up attempting to get up from bed
I settle her back in and lay down on sofa in next room
4:00 she is sitting up attempting to get up from bed
I settle her back in and lay down on sofa in next room
5:00 crashing sound from her room
she is leaning over side table with lamp knocked over,
drapes pulled down
furious with me
"What's wrong with me!?!?"
"Momma you are very ill ... and now you legs don't work."
I get her back into her bed
"So this is how YOU treat sick people!?!?
I'm dizzy as an old hound dog."
I wonder if I am giving her too many meds
I wonder if I am giving her not enough meds
I call the overnight nurse

It's funny how it goes
or seems to go

It's somewhere around 5:00am
The phone rings and rings
I think no one will answer
then she does
Hello I say, I am DeAnn, Mrs. --------'s daughter
may I speak to a nurse?
Mrs. who?
"Momma, don't spit out that pill please, 
Momma, give me that pill please
Momma ... "
"How do you spell that"
- - - - - - - -
(It is an unusual name)
- - - - - - - - I say again, slowly
There is a continuous clicking on the line
and a lot of fumbling around while she looks for our name
I put the phone on speaker and set it on the side table 
while I play another round of pill games with Momma
"Momma, give me the pill please, where is it?"
"Oh here it is (the name/file). What is your question?"
"Umm, there is a clicking sound on the line I can barely hear you"
 I say taking her off speaker phone.

Our conversation digresses from there. It seems that it is important to her that I address her by name and I think, surely not, but she seems rather insistent. Maybe that is how they check out the coherence level of whomever they are speaking to, idk, but it is just another frustrating moment in a night long on frustrating moments. I say,"Seriously. Mary. That's the most important thing we have going on right now?"  Somehow, we reboot.  I think I hear her laughing and that is annoying (and in the back of my sleep deprived mind I wonder if I am being cranky).

We somehow sort out our nonsense and I read back through my notes
and discover
that Mom 's behind on the anti-hallucinogenic med
it is available every hour as needed and her last bit was at 2:37
(if I noted things properly and I think I did).
I missed two potential opportunities to keep this on the tracks better.
I ask for a call back from our regular nurse.  
An on call nurse (who came out on Sunday),
recommended that "we" switch Mom to pain patches
because of the swallowing problem
... and I wonder if this anti-hallucinogenic med can be delivered
like that
or anything better that they can recommend ...
at 5:15 I give my mom a small glass of ice cold water
(just like she likes) 
there is a tiny anti-hal pill smashed up in it.
She kicks me when I look away for a sec ...
her legs do work
just not for holding her up.

It's funny how it goes
or seems to go

@7:00 Momma back in the floor beside her bed.
I bring the bedside potty seat near to her and begin trying to lift her coaching  her to grab on to the chair arms and help me out as best she can.  She wants to know my name.  
She says,
"Let me tell you something,
God is recording e v e r y word you say ... "
And I interrupt her
"I hope so.  I really hope so." I say,
"'Cause if that's how He works, I am racking up points.
And, what about your words?"
She says "Yes, me too."
And I tell her she best stop talking altogether then 
because everything she has said during the night was
 flat out mean talk.
(Not to mention the kicking and slapping 
- which hurt only my feelings.)

While she sits on that chair I coax all 8 of her morning pills in to her.
Slowly but surely she calms down.
"I am sorry that I swallow so slowly",
she says.
(yeah, it's a real heart breaker)
(yeah, she can be a real sweetheart - she's not always in stinker-mode)
(yeah, I know she is not well - she is actually dying)
She drank a few ounces of water and a couple sips of Ensure
and I was able to get her re-situated in her bed
with a soft blanket
warm from the dryer
and she fell asleep

It's 8:30am now
The birds are singing and the sun is shining.
I'm on a second cup of coffee,
still in the clothes I put on on Saturday
or Sunday
waiting for the nurse to call
My sister-in-law says my brother is throwing up today
that he had a bad night
and she has a call in to his doctor already
she waits

We are sorting out paperwork to get Momma situated in a care facility.
I hope to hear back from them today
as well.
My sister-in-law calls to say 
she will be available to sit with Momma if I get the call to come sign admittance papers
(because she has notified her office that she will be out again today)
another call comes in as I talk to her
I hurry to take the other call
(No Caller ID - that is Hospice)
and I accidentally push the decline this call option

It's funny how it goes
or seems to go

Hospice here at 9:00am
Momma sound asleep 

They are able to offer some relief
We'll see how it goes.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

little pink scud layer fuzzing the moon

Tommy was able Saturday  to come sit with Momma while L and I ran a few errands preparing for the whatever comes next  ... it feels like I am hunkering down for a storm.  L  drove over after work on Friday, arriving at 4:00 in the morning to deliver a much needed hug.  He arranged a hot spot for internet access ... which makes it possible for me to do some of the basic things which must be accomplished.  He also provided a coffee maker, a box of chocolates, and several bags of crunchy Cheetos ...  !  

Momma had a burst of energy last night which was expended by pulling her TV loose from its connections and carrying it with one hand on to her balcony.  She seemed to be intent on chunking it over the railing.  Very impressive in that she has been unable to walk on her own for several days now.  L heard her rambling around while I slept through the whole thing ... I took the second watch and it was slightly less eventful.  Today she has been completely zoned out, unable to roll herself over in bed, not even able to open her eyes. 

Hope ...

“The natural flights of the human mind are not from pleasure to pleasure,
 but from hope to hope."
~ Samuel Johnson

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
I Corinthians 13:13

Somewhere along the way last year I figured out that hope is not the weak link in this string of powerful life building words ... Protects, Trusts, Hopes, Perseveres, Loves. I have come to believe that "hope" is a big word like the others, and totally belongs there in that idea. I said before, last year sometime, that I couldn't see actions around hope as I can around the other words, but now I do. I see invisible actions surrounding hope and hope right smack dab in the middle of these other four words whose actions speak louder then words can convey. Hope is a strong word, given as an act of communion with the still unknown ... Hope reaches towards God I think. And ... God has hopes for us as well. 

That picture is a Texas sunset as seen from a hospital room ... the moments of our lives captured on an iPhone ... .  I am disoriented here, would have said I was facing due East with stormy weather brewing just South.  Sunset, obviously West, and the drive "home" that evening washed the truck clean, problem solved.
Tommy was released from the hospital Friday past, having spent the week addressing GT  challenges.  
He left the hospital with a tick, his word, an apt description of the device which is draining pus from an infection, basically a catheter tube inserted below his ribs on the left.  Chemo scheduled for tomorrow.

He amazes me with his ability to adapt to the demands ... he makes hope a living word.  

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Sorry if these posts seem disjointed ...
 guess that accurately describes how life feels right now
people text, 
asking for the mechanic's phone number ... 
reminding me that the sweet tea social is coming up ...
"real life" stuff like that
... but life is, uh surreal ... just now.
Mom and I began a little road trip last Friday ... wow, that's almost a week ago as I add text to these pictures late Thursday ... I thought we could go "home" ... where my husband and children are, for a couple of weeks, I thought it might be a grand last trip.  We made it to Momma's sister's home, a half way point, and spent two nights there before turning back towards Austin, Momma's home near my brother.  The pic above taken on the return trip ... somewhere along I10, we were socked in all the way along the route until the bottom finally fell out NW of Houston.  I woke up early on Sunday thinking that my brother was feeling afraid  ... and that made me afraid.  He was having significant pain due to an obstructed colon ... which a NG tube helped sort out over the past several days ... once the pressure behind the colon was relieved his system began to operate sufficiently well again.  He is still in the hospital tonight, but back on solids ... Mexican food of course ... they are watching an infection which might compromise his port.  Due to begin chemo again on Monday if all goes well.
So ... we returned to Momma's apartment and I think it was in the knick of time.  She had begun to hallucinate and grows steadily weaker.  This morning when I said we might get to see Tommy today she said "Tommy Walker?"  who is her cousin and a childhood playmate.  I've never heard her call him Tommy before but it makes sense.  She didn't click in on Tommy her son ... and until late this afternoon she was unable to recognize me as her daughter.  That's where we are at ... wherever that is.
Earlier in the week I was able to come and go between Momma's apartment and the hospital.  My brother likes to rand at the window which looks out on the helo pad ... the sun floods in there and he has been missing the sun he says.  All those little signs in the fore ground say "no open bed trucks"  lol ... could be a real mess!
CALM ... cracks me up ... Momma's sister recommends this as just the thing for Momma.  If only it were that easy.  My momma didn't like chewing today ... she really has little interest in food.  She slept most of the day with her head in my lap.  She thinks I am her mommie most of the time.  That's fine.  My goal is to provide her with the opportunity to die in her own surroundings.  It's very peaceful there with just the two of us.  This weekend my husband will pop in for a day or two and that will be a nice break for me ... Tommy hopes to spend some time with us next week before the chemo puts him in his own bed for a few days.  Man ...  .

Here's what we like:

  1. hospital ice ... perfect (sorta like Sonic ice)
  2. coffee with lots of real half and half (no sugar works well for me now)
  3. being able to make my fitbit bracelet signal 10,000 steps
  4. Mexican food (for him ... I actually prefer my own cooking where Mexican food is on the table, but the local BBQ rocks ... and I have been "researching" other notable BBQ joints ... too far to drive to right now, but I'm noting them.  And ... last week Tommy and I drove past a Tamale sign out side someone's home and I stopped to procure a dozen ... no go ... sold out.  Tommy said that's one of Willie Nelson's haunts.  It looked like a place where real Tamales might be found.  I'll try again for those because I already know I'll like them.)
  5. wonderfully fluffy feather pillows and that great alpaca throw ... perfect!
My mother has a lot of cookbooks and a couple of other books I will enjoy looking through ... and L is bringing my rocker over.  I have no idea how long I will be here.  It feels like the right place for me to be, but I haven't gotten situated in it just yet ... it does feel surreal.  This is funny ... a year or so ago L and I began watching the TV show 24 ... and I especially noticed and liked that the main character, Jack, was outstanding at "recognizing and accepting" the current situation ... and because he was able to do that, he was able to respond most appropriately to a very fluid dynamic.  Yeah, it'sa show ... but that seemed to me to be a very efficient way to approach life in general.  I think about those Red Sea Rules ... and the first one is: God knows where you are at ... uh oh, that's not what he wrote, he said God intends for you to be here.  (I'm really trying to not think "bummer" when I recall the number one Red Sea Rule ... really.)

1. Realise that God means for you to be where you are. 
2. Be more concerned for God's glory then your relief.
3. Acknowledge your enemy, but keep your eyes on the Lord.
4. Pray
5. Stay calm and confident, and give God time to work.
6. When unsure, take the next logical step by faith.
7. Envision God's enveloping presence.
8. Trust God to deliver in His own unique way.
9. View your current crisis as a faith builder for the future.
10. Don't forget to praise Him.
 ... still a pretty interesting concept. I am remembering just a month or so ago I told L that I dreamed God was hugging me ... that was before all this ... before all this.  I think I best be remembering how great that hug felt.

Well ... that's it for now ... no internet at Momma's and my time away from her place is in short supply.  I think we will get some WiFi going this weekend.

Monday, April 7, 2014

 “Nothing can make our life, 
   or the lives of other people, 
more beautiful than perpetual kindness."

~ Leo Tolstoy

Started out mid day on Friday towards home ... with a planned stopped along the way so my momma could visit her sister.  Momma is declining rapidly, but I thought one last road trip might be a wonderful treat for her.  She did fine in the truck until it got dark ... well, by fine I mean the "little babies" she was "seeing" were happy and she found the process highly enthralling describing them and their activities in detail.  I assured her that just because I couldn't see them didn't mean that I doubted that she could ... she has been talking to them for several days now.  They are careful, intent creatures who smile almost continuously ... one was keeping an eye on the fuel gauge. He wore a bow tie she said.  Because I was also watching the fuel gauge (seriously?  I may need help with other stuff, but not with monitoring basic stuff like that) I knew the baby in the bow tie would stay happy.

Guess it's Baytown where whatever that is is lit up.
This ... a refinery ... and at night it glitters gold, and probably especially so if one is hopped up on pain meds as Momma is.  Maybe she thought it was heaven, alls I know is after we drove on by the experience went down hill. The babies were still with us at the Cracker Barrel but they were behind her and she kept on needing to turn around in her seat to watch them.  After dinner she became paranoid ... anxious ... fearful and by time we stopped at her sister's house she didn't really know me or her sister.  I'm getting used to that ... she calls me the little lady who stays with her and doesn't seem to mind that my name is the same as her daughter's name ... she asks me, "What is my daughter's name, what is your name?" and doesn't necessarily click on the idea that I am her daughter.
Anyway ... after dinner ... not great.  I was so glad to tuck her in to bed for the night hoping for a better day to come.  She slept the entire day ... drank the tiniest bit of water and was entirely disinterested in eating.  I thought it best to bring her back to the nest.  Tommy took a turn for the worse so I was relieved to not be so very far away.  He is in the hospital now ... will be for a few days, but the crisis has past. Today he said he might just make it his life ambition to have an ice machine installed in his home that produces the wonderfully delightful (perfect) ice which is his big treat here ... ice, just the tiniest few he can get by on because they are contra doctor's orders ... and now the one lifesaver.  Big little things.  Today the nurse asked him to describe his bowel movement for her  ... euphoric he didn't even have to think about it and she laughed right out loud as he winked at me ... I'm used to his quirky sense of humor.
That's a Lutheran Church house kinda out in the middle of no where ... and the fields next to it.  It's pretty here.  Bluebonnets, Indian Paint Brush, Buttercups, Wild Mustard and something purple violet cover the roadways and fields here in Central Texas.  I'm just collecting little things  ... I'm grateful. 

Duran Duran - Hungry Like The Wolf

My brother is in a situation where he has to have a NG tube ... we are a couple of days in on this and he is feeling well enough to tempt the fates with a small (dietary) change in his current regime.  "We gotta get me something" he said meaning me.  I was thinking maybe lifesavers sans dye.  Nurses weren't too sure about rocking the boat but were willing to put in a text to the doctor ... and he said yes.  "I'm hungry like a wolf" he said, and I completely missed the reference. Even the 20 something nurse knew ... yeah, I remembered it.  Duran Duran, I was likely hearing a good bit of Elmo's song that year.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

rusty windmill and iron ...

“Optimism is true moral courage."
- Ernest Shackleton

near Taylor
As I drive from Momma's to my brother's home there are two wind mills which come together appearing to be one before moving back apart.  This could be one of them.  
It's neat to see them everyday.

This is what we are up to today - iron day.
Iron day is a good day.

one of the top five BBQ places in Texas ->

Louie Mueller - Texas BBQ Icon

main entry
definitely a "both hands" spring on that door!

newer - added on dining room

what I asked for
(sides are simply a distraction ... )
2 slices of brisket
2 baby back ribs
a sausage link
(lol ... yes one of the ribs was consumed prior to photo op)
So ... it turns out I am finding ways to amuse myself while I while away time here in Texas.  The baby back rib from Mueller's was definitely a mood booster.
I'll look up where the other four top spots are and report back ... .

On Sunday we plan to drive somewhere for a German Buffet.  I adore German food (looking forward).

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

I like being home ... and it's funny how this still feels like home.
Momma woke up dizzy this morning ... her falling and breaking a hip or something is probably my biggest concern right this minute.  Everything you think you know can change in a blink.  Trite, I know, but oh so true.  March was a crazy month.  Looking to see what April showers ... I think I'll add the local air strip to my fore flight, I'm kinda itching to look at the weather ... look ahead at the weather I should say.  Hard to catch enough of a break to get the truck washed.  This morning I told the guy next to me at the pump that if I didn't hurry up and get it washed everyone was gonna think it was stolen!
Hospice ... very nice group of people.
Very helpful.
I'd like to go home for a week ... the third week in April.  They tell me I can place mom in a nursing care facility IF she says that's okay.  Lol ... huge if.  And if it is okay with her on day one but she wants to leave on day two then she is able to just walk out the door.  "You better be able to pick her up if she doesn't want to stay.  And from what little I know of your mom she won't want to stay."  Yeah ... she won't want to stay, no doubt in my mind about that.  "So, another (and maybe your best) option is to hire in home care."  Lol ... in-home care is running about 20 bucks an hour in the area ... 20x24x5 ... I'm actually pretty good at math ... but I resist ... no I got it, too easy ... too much.  They don't think it's a good idea for me to take her home with me ("What if something happens while y'all are out of the area?").
On the other hand ...
Me being here is do-able because my family is making it possible.
I do want to be at hand in case my brother or sister-in-law need my help.
It's actually interesting to see my mom becoming a better version of herself and by that I mean "kinder".  Also ... I really don't want her to be afraid or suffer in any way and I can help make her world pleasant.
I'm just a bit tired.
Today while Tommy got his haircut I got my washed and professionally blown out - love that.  Big treat.  I think I better just figure out how to get comfy (lol) here. Nice to be home - wish my family was also here.
He thinks it's funny
(and we both know it's true).
Chemo ... rough ..  It's set him down for sure.  We circle around this new thing, my eyes search for his seeking to say something we both know neither of us knows.  I'll take it ... it hasn't been decided yet ... we just don't know.
Superman's cape crumbled like a sheet wraps him while we wait to see.  The doctor said the first two months would be the worst.  Apparently, there are a few knowns ... notes folded up just so and sailed forward ... we listen as the words are read but we don't understand what we have heard ... didn't, understanding dawns.
I do know he wants me to be near by ... just not looking at him as sisters tend to do.  
Chemo on Wednesday ... by following Tuesday feeling almost okay again.

old sketch which reminded me of my little brother

 Momma doesn't have WiFi at her place ... nor does she own a coffee making device of any sort ... I'm out early as she sleeps, next meds due at ten, thinking to find the place where my brother gets his truck washed.  Overcast layer is obscuring what I know to be a brilliant sunrise, it's glorious here where you may see as far as you can see.  Speed limit 45, everyone's rolling 35, no one in a hurry to start the week in a town where the lights are still out even on the main drag.  Seems like all the early morning trucks are parked outside the Donut Palace.  Once inside I find an old-fashioned, so sweet it hurts my fingers to pick it up, and a weak cup of coffee ... Great Generation warriors are swapping stories.  "Pull up a chair and sit on the floor over there" one greets another behind me and I smile as they laugh out loud.
I smile ... it feels good.
It feels real ... I've been smiling that pushed up on the sides sort of smile.  Time to find a real one I think.  However I've been looking is making my face hurt.  I woke up thinking about that - it's been a month now.  I'm here for an unforeseeable while.  I need to start finding a rhythm to this time, something I can work with.  It's okay that nothing makes sense, sometimes life just doesn't, but it'll help me to wrap it in some sort of routine

Corn ... they'll use it for fuel production

 My momma is like someone sorta here sorta there ... she seems to float back and forth and it seems like she is a really good version of herself.  She is pleasant to be around.  Tonight I heated up light weight blankets for her and as I wrapped her up she smiled, "This is right next to heaven" she said.  She absolutely loves to have her hair brushed.  I think she'd never tire of that or having moisturizer massaged in to the dry skin of her face.  She cracked me up today saying, "Now I know why massage parlors seem to be so popular!"  I said, "Oh Momma that makes me laugh to think of you going in to one of those places and asking for a massage ... I think that's where men who will never be any thing but lonely go to buy "comfort"."  Her eyes got so big!
She talks to herself.  Or maybe she sees things I cannot see.  "Why are those babies smiling?"  She asked me that yesterday mooring and I said I think they are just happy ... . This morning I heard her say, "Hello, what is your name? Are you a lady."  I know it sounds a little weird, but I like it.  She seems so happy ... she giggles ... it's sweet, and she sings ... I love that.  Mostly, she sleeps.  She barely eats ... ice-cream she makes time for ... I am certain I will hope for Cheetos when I'm really
old.  Which reminds me ... today Tommy said his tongue feels like its been in the broiler and by the way, that beef jerky I'm so fond of really tastes like Alpo.  He said the Birthday Cake flavored ice cream is incredible delicious.  Lotsa ice cream eating going on over here ... I am truly concerned that all this sitting around combined with very little moving about is going to make my clothes tight!