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…going down the rabbit hole with a matchstick~ May 11, 2012

Posted by Stella☆LunaC in Life Death and Taxes.
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….I can’t see what lies ahead.
I find myself in a situation without a map, no GPS, no ethereal voice to tell me, “you are coming to an exit in 60 feet.”

100 years ago, (or at least it feels like)I watched my Dad die slowly from terminal lung cancer. It spread so fast, I didn’t have time to prepare for what was to follow… I got a call from a relative one day, flew out on the next plane, and Dad was gone 10 days later. I sat with him for 5 days after his release from the hospital, and let hospice come every day like clockwork, to do what they needed, to see to his physical needs. I was there to help him in any way I could that would make his last days as easy as possible.
It wasn’t easy. Mom was there, in body; her mind had left the building long ago. She tried to help, she was hardwired by almost 50 years as the devoted Wife and Mother. She didn’t remember how to hand him things like a cup of soup, got frustrated easliy, and saddened when Dad would tell her to stop whatever she was doing.
I don’t think I had any more of an idea what to do, than my mom did..the Blind leading the Blind. Dad was so patient, so tired; most of the time he slept, and if he needed anything, he would ring his bell. He had lost his voice around Christmas of the year before, could barely be heard above a whisper.

I watched my Dad take his final breathe that day, afraid to touch him, for fear it would hasten his passing. I could just sit there and watch as he took his final breathe, stoking his head, and thinning hair remains his long life. I had already called the hospice nurse, Nancy. I was waiting for her at the front steps 20 minutes later; she knew immediately she had arrived too late.

Like a storm trooper, she set to task making all the necessary phone calls and arrangements to the funeral home, ordered the paperwork, and finally she gathered my Mom and brought her to my Dad’s side, for their final moments together. I couldn’t move, it was like my feet were nailed to the floor. I watched as Nancy slowly explained to Mom what had just happened. She spoke to her in slow, clear words that Mom would understand. I watched helplessly as my Mom’s thoughts turned, and the realization hit her, and then I watched as her heart broke. As tears streamed from my eyes I watched as finally the recognition in her eyes faded away. None of us knew what to say to her-we gathered around to hug and comfort her, and guide her quietly away as the attendants came to gather Dad’s still form and wheel him outside to the waiting hearse. The hospice nurse instructed us to allow Mom remember things they way she would, and not feel a need to remind her that Dad was now gone from her life. She told us to let it go. To remind Mom would only cause her to grieve all over again, and it was not going to help, and would not be fair to her.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The rest is a blur; I try not to go there these days, its too sad to have to relive. It hurts to remember all over again. But I can’t forget.
The mind doesn’t want to go there, it shuts out the unpleasant, in an effort to shield itself from further pain and damage. The body doesn’t give up, it just keeps going and going, until it falls into troubled sleep, too exhausted to maintain a watchful vigil. Right now, more than ever, I need to know what to do. I need to know I will do the right thing, if I ever find myself in a similar situation. I don’t want to be afraid to do what feels right, no matter what. I don’t want to be left with any doubts or regrets, that I should have done this-or-that…will it make any difference after the fact. No. Then it will be too late. I can’t allow doubt to take seed. Regret is a bitter pill.

No regrets….

Guiding Spirit, please don’t leave me when I fall asleep. I need to be awake, and fully capable of giving my all, when called upon.

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Dad’s Day, a time to reflect June 20, 2011

Posted by Stella☆LunaC in A Stitch in Time | Projects, California Dreamin', Flora and Fauna, Heart Notes.
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Hqppy Dad’s Day, Pop! I miss you so much…
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Dad, back in ’44, and his dad, Romolo, my Pop Pop.

Fathers Day was quiet here. DH was recouping from a nasty fall the night before; a plastic lawn chair that was pushing 15 years old literally exploded out from under him, almost mangling his left hand, and sending large shards of sharp plastic flying in all directions. He fell on his bad hip, and later sustained some minor bruises, but the hip was the worst part. The sounds that periodically came from the bedroom during the day, were pitiful.
We hung out together all day and I got a lot done on the Doves in Flight wedding doily.
It’s 8 rows from completion; Can you see the doves? 🙂

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I took a break and went outside to see what was popping up in my gardens. I had noticed some bright orange from Tje upstairs guest bedroom window and had to investigate.

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I love my petunias, my gift to DH for spotting these cool planters one day

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The Prickly Pears will be blooming soon!20110620-095545.jpg

Old Man Thyme
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Crystal Blue Persuasion | Happy Birthday, Dad! December 13, 2010

Posted by Stella☆LunaC in California Dreamin', Random Musings.
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My friend Linda reminded me of a song I fell in love with as a kid: Crystal Blue Persuasion. I remember EXACTLY where I was when I first fell in love with the song. In the back of my Mom and Dad’s ’64 White over Aqua Blue Chevy Impala, in the parking lot at Harrah’s casino, North Shore Lake Tahoe, with my sketch book, colored pencils, and 3 new issues of some teen horror mystery pocket book I had picked up at the local 5 and dime. I was 13 and didn’t have to stay at the Recreation Center (Kids Center) for the first time ~I was truly in my element up there in the higher altitudes -Life was good. 🙂

Fanette Island Tea House, Lake Tahoe '08

I should get back into my art again. Every Winter, I find myself either knee-deep in contemplations of days gone by, or up to my hooch in snow on the front porch. The quiet serenity that I feel every time I look out the big window facing West, reminds me of Home, of care-free days and Loved Ones now passed. Sometimes my Soul aches to fly out that window, over the hills and trees beyond the pond, toward that beautiful sunset. I yearn to once again visit Yesterday before it disappears forever. But before it goes, it displays it’s radiance in such breath-taking colors, I catch my breath and stop to stare. Then I remember where I am, and I’m content in knowing I’ve made it this far in my Journey, and that is enough to still my heart.

Tomorrow is Dad’s birthday-he would be 96, but to me, he will always be that brave soldier whose hand I held until his battle was finally over.

Happy Birthday, Dad~ I love you!! ♥♥♥

The Note~ December 29, 2008 December 29, 2008

Posted by Stella☆LunaC in A Stitch in Time | Discussions, A Stitch in Time | Projects, California Dreamin', Random Musings.
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The Mini-Wheats Marathon Doily, day 3.

I figure I have 16 hours in this baby so far. I worked on and off all afternoon Sunday, got about 3 rows completed, the third finished on Monday around 11:30.

I’m real happy with the results, but there are now 3 boo-boos, none of which matter~ it will be under some piece of pottery, no doubt and no one will be the wiser.

While I was working on the doily, I noticed I was nearing the end of my ball of thread. Then I noticed a piece of paper, folded and tucked inside the tube. I pulled it out, and opened it up. It was a note, hand-written by my dad on the day I flew to California to see him while in hospital. I’d forgotten I had put it there, for safekeeping.

Dad was in the hospital the night I flew in, and as soon as I entered his room, he handed me a piece of paper with some writing on it. He had lost his voice after almost a year of battling with one-and-off treatments for what we thought was Tuberculosis. His note confirmed my worst fears; the Doctors said his cancer had progressed more rapidly than they expected, and chemo was no longer a viable option. I was floored when I read that note, there had to be a mistake. I had flown out to help dad get back on his feet, and now a Dr was telling me Dad had only days to live. He went home the next day and I lost him 5 days later.

I put that note inside that ball of thread right after my Life-Sis in California went out and bought me a bunch of balls of thread, some hooks, and well-wishes as I prepared Dad and I for what were to be our last days together. In between sleep, and periods of deep contemplation, I sat by his side in the living room where we had his bed set up. I talked with Dad, doing most of the talking myself-his voice was a bell, which he willingly ignored for the most part. I crocheted fan pulls by the dozens, and gave one to every person who’s path crossed ours during the next week. Every knot had a prayer for Dad, and for our loved ones, worked into every stitch.

He stayed awake long enough to watch the SF Giants ALMOST win the Pennant that year. After they lost, he stopped watching TV, and would spend hours just staring at an oil painting of some unnamed Italian villa my mom had bought when he was stationed overseas in the ’60’s. I think he was putting himself in that painting, or maybe he was looking for his family in that painting, because on the 5th day of his stay, he slipped away into the late evening, and went Home.

I was going to gift this doily, once it was completed. But now, I’m not sure what I will do with it. I suspect I will add it to the other memorabilia on Dad’s Chest of Drawers, in the Guest Bedroom, right next to Mom’s Urn, which sits upon a small doily I made while she was in the Alzheimer’s Home.

I’m really glad I found that note, for that ball of thread had been tossed from one basket to another, over the past 6 yrs.