Sunday, March 29, 2015

Caring for Mama...

March 27, 2015           Friday morning (A letter to my siblings about our sweet mother)

Hi! :D Would you believe I just woke up?! (8:00 AM) To be fair though, mama and I didn't stop talking until 1:30 AM. :D It was a SWEET, NICE talk. Filled with love and laughter, hopes and dreams…  We even watched The Secret Garden and did foot massage! :D

Mama talked of having purpose and meaning in life (most of which involves the people she loves)... She was very depressed before she came here, and she was more depressed than I realized when she first got here as well. Feeling down... laying in bed 24/7 and feeling like she couldn't do anything with her life and even like she had no purpose... Wondering what the rest of the world looked like. Wondering what the rest of the home she lived in looked like outside her bedroom. Wondering what HER OWN ROOM looked like, beyond what she could see from her limited perspective in bed... Wondering what she would ever do again in this life...

All these things weighed upon her mind, making it difficult for her to want to talk to people on the phone. She DOES appreciate your calls though... reaching out to her and loving her, even though she doesn't take the call or mostly listens and hasn't the energy to stay on long. Thank you for loving her!!!

The mental struggles she has been faced with caused her to feel like she had nothing to live for and sometimes she felt that she couldn't stand living that way any longer (stuck in bed all the time).

But last night Mama told me that she is learning SO MUCH. Her perspective is changing. She has begun to realize how much of a positive impact she is having on our family. She is a blessing to my family and I in so many ways, and Miles and I and the Lord have all begun to point these things out to her. She has become like a child again in many ways, and needed this comfort and perspective to give meaning to her life. She is also finding joy in tiny little conversations she has had with her grandchildren, and in building them up. She is enjoying her granddaughter... who loves her so much. And she appreciates her son in law, who is constantly mentioning what a blessing she is to him, and how she helps him to not be so focused on himself. It seems she is finding purpose in life again. :)

And she talked about you... Mama wants you, her children, to KNOW that she loves you and thinks about you and prays for you every day. The more settled she gets here the more it feels like home and the brighter she feels; I think phone calls will be coming soon.

I don't know how it is that the days go by so quickly... I do the same things day in and day out, and find it difficult to find time to do the more occasional, and yet important and fun things - like finding pictures to hang on her walls, and brainstorming things mama can do, look at, and enjoy (now that I am finally almost done getting all the paperwork of moving her and her medical insurance etc. to her new home and state!) Please, pray for me to find time and creative energy to do this!!!

We talked of a few ideas of things to do from her little bed to give her something to enjoy and look forward to… foot massages while watching one of our favorite shows together (I mentioned Once Upon a Time, as it is one of my favorites, and I’m hoping she will fall in love with it, too); visiting with my sweet sons;:D GENEALOGY!!! :D (I am SO excited to help her do genealogy, once we find a computer for her bedroom! Anyone have an old computer they don't need that can get internet?).

There were other things too… I should have jotted them down. I also hope to start reading to her. Levi read history to her one day, and I'm hoping it becomes somewhat of a tradition. I think she would like that. :D She listens to the Book of Mormon on CD now. We are anxious to get other scriptures for her to listen to as well (Bible etc., as well as General Conference – which we will have once we get a computer in there, or once Ben brings her stuff to her from storage!)

Despite the lack of energy and oxygen, mom DOES count her blessings and find joy in living! :) She is so happy to be getting to know these grand kids better. She also loves Miles and says he is her hero (because he is so good to her). :D Mama is SO HAPPY TO BE HERE, and doing better emotionally each day. She repeatedly tells me how spoiled she feels. I always wish I could do more. There is so much to do. I just want to have more time - just to spend with her to socialize and make her happy, rather than doing necessary things so much of the time. But she doesn't look at it like that and is so appreciative and mindful of my time and needs. I appreciate her gratitude so much!

Time to get going; talk to you later! :D

PS. Nathan started helping me set up a routine reminder of some of mama’s needs on Excel spreadsheet (which I still need to sit down and finish); Carolyn sent oils to mama (it sure helps her relax and makes the room smell great!). And I think Aaron is sending a massage device (I’m hoping Miles and I will find time to use it on each other as well as on mom! :D)

I’m so thankful for such sweet, kind, siblings who do such nice things for our mama! :D THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH FOR ALL THAT YOU DO! I'm SO THANKFUL to be a part of such a supportive and kind family!!! :)

I love you all!
Corine :D

Monday, March 16, 2015

The Current Transition...

Hi! :D

Well, mom has been here for nearly two weeks now. I have to tell you about this amazing! And the first thing that comes to mind to explain this new big change is an analogy of having a baby…

Have you ever had a baby? :)

Do you remember the anticipation?

You were excited and happy for the new addition. You knew your life would suddenly change – drastically! You thought of the changes and sacrifices to be made, and though you were excited for the joys of it all… you also hoped the adjustment won’t be too challenging. And you probably prepared as well as you could with freezer meals, purchasing a few necessities in advance… and maybe preparing a room and getting ahead with cleaning house etc. (nesting! )

If you haven’t experienced it yet, I’ll tell you what happens next…

You bring that baby home.

And somehow it all feels so natural.

You look at that baby and it feels like part of you and of your home and family... like it belongs.

It is as if it always was. …as if a piece of you has always had that baby and you can’t stand the thought of life without it!

This is what the transition of suddenly having mom here in my home with me has felt like.

It feels SO totally and completely, 100% natural and RIGHT. We are all SO HAPPY THAT SHE IS HERE (mom included! :o)! :D

Life has changed DRASTICALLY; Not only for myself but for the entire family. My schedule and list of activities have changed a lot. Miles and the kids are “on call” 24/7. Each and every one of them is consistently supportive …helping me at a moments notice when ever needed. What a wonderful family! :D I feel so blessed and am SO PLEASED and SO THANKFUL for each one of them!

And so I count my blessings continually. Thanking the Lord for my mom and our supportive family. For the peace that He gives that this decision is GOOD. That my sweet mother doesn’t have to live in a Nursing Home. …that she can be surrounded daily by loving family and eat nutritious home cooked meals. SO FILLED WITH GRATTITUDE AND JOY! :)

Corine :D

A New Home for Mom! :)

(Most of this was written on March 2, 2015 at 6:47 AM.
I finally decided to add a few things and post it!)

Good morning! :D

After driving almost nonstop for three days (between travel there and travel back home)… with just cat naps for the most part…, we (Eli - my wonderful brother, his sweet teen son Bennie/ my awesome nephew who has the tradition of posing with me for a photo of us flexing our guns me each time we get together.., and I) - finally got mom to her new home here in Hayden Idaho! :D  

That’s right… MOM IS HOME!!! :D - In her new home with me and my family! :)

Mom slept in the back of Eli’s van, cradled in pillows and blankets on a cushy foam bed (thanks so much for sending those foams with us, Lizzy!!! :D)

There are still boxes by the front door to go through and find a permanent place for. Photos still need to be found and hung on the wall. We don't have her dresser yet etc. (or much of anything - other than basic necessities). But mom is out of that stinking nursing home and right where she belongs… with family! :D We are all very happy to have her here, and I know she is too. It hasn’t even been 24 hours yet, but already I have enjoyed taking care of mom and making and serving her yummy foods… chicken salad, chicken broth, sautéed vegetables, coconut water, and apple slices with cinnamon and cloves accompanied by strawberry slices. When mom saw Mindy and I walk in with the fruit platter, she exclaimed… “I think I just went from Hell to Heaven!” We knew she was referring to her move from the nursing home to here. :D LOL

Eli and Ben left the table before we thought to get a photo...
As we arrived in Salt Lake City we received a phone call from an old friend... Sharon Stevens. She wanted to treat us at a restaurant, along with a few other family members and other old friends who have been very close to the family for years and years (who were there to help get mom ready to move or to say goodbye – 7 in all, plus Ben’s little girl). What a treat for us to all be together like that! :D And the location and view was amazing! Eli and Bennie and I enjoyed taking photos of the exquisite Joseph Smith Memorial building and Salt Lake Temple while we waited for the others to arrive. That was a great experience, and so much fun to reconnect together with dear old friends!

Who else was there, you ask? :D My brother Ben and one of his darling little girls; Dad; and Ruth and her husband… (Sorry I forgot his name). WE ALL HAD SO MUCH FUN! Oh, and I had salmon on wild rice and asparagus. It was amazing! :)

We went directly from the restaurant to mom… When we got to mom we were all fed and rejuvenated for the late night drive home. The men loaded mom and a few of her belongings, while I talked to the nurse about mom’s needs. We never did talk about her schedule. I think the medications WERE the schedule. :o That place was really ugly and downright dreary!  …really looking forward to adding a little spice to her life and SO HAPPY that she is out of there and over here with me and our family!!!

Grandma and Granddaughter... :)
Well, time for me to go. But first, a special THANKS to all family members and friends who have pitched in to help out in various ways…
from prayers and traveling to visit her while all alone there at that nursing home, to brainstorming plans to move her near or in with family (I'm so glad "in with" won!), and shopping for things she needed, to bringing her to her new home (and soon her belongings)...

Special thanks to Eli for driving mom home, and to his son Bennie, who served as a navigator to his dad (my awesome brother, Eli), as well as an extra set of hands close by mom (his grandma :)). I have a photo of the three of us on my phone but haven't figured out how to get it to email and don't have a transfer cord, so this photo will sadly have to wait. :( I'll add it later when technology pulls through.. :D

Special thanks to Ben and Dad for meeting us there and being a support.

Special thanks to friends who met up with family to visit, and said goodbye to mom.

Oh, and let’s not forget the son in law and grand kids who rearranged living quarters/bedrooms to make room for mom, then painted and laid down new carpet to make her new room nice for her! Thanks Miles, Dausen, Levi, and Mindy! :D There has been a lot of fast acting work going on in preparation for this move, and I am SO THANKFUL to be a part of such a kind and supportive family!!!! We are truly blessed. THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH… FAMILY AND FRIENDS, FOR YOUR BEYOND THE CALL OF DUTY SUPPORT AND LOVE!!!

And last but not least... a special thanks to the two angel missionaries who tore out carpets and painted walls to help us get the house ready for mom: Elder Keppner and Elder Saunders - you are life savers!!!! :D.

These Elders were transferred just after mom arrived and things started to settle down. Both were in our area for longer than anticipated, and for what ever reason they were here as long as they were, I can't help but wonder if they it was, at least in part, for us... I'm SO THANKFUL that the Lord allowed them to stay here long enough to help us through this very busy time! And to them for being so willing and eager to serve! They young men are as good as angels! :)

PS. Miles has done lots of CNA work in the past, which has already proven to be very valuable! He is a great help and blessing and mom is in good hands!!! :D Thank you Miles, for being so supportive of mom being here and of helping to take care of her!!!!

Hospice came yesterday and is ALREADY an AWESOME support! I am so thankful for the support and feel incredibly blessed!!!!

And friends have served in various small ways... One friend made a dinner for us, and gave mom a TV! (Another angel friend!!!). Another came and hauled some of our furniture off that we had to get rid of to make room for mom. We have been truly blessed and are so thankful for these many blessings! :)
...happy day to you all and thank you for all your love and service!
Lots of love...
Corine :D