Today is different

Yes, today is different than all the days before. She seems distant.  The date is November 10, 2016.

I’ve settled into my job as home care provider.  This morning, before he went to work, Honey helped me get mom downstairs to the kitchen.   After he left for work, I fixed her favorite breakfast.  Two waffles and a fried egg.  She drank all of her juice down. We chatted and she  wondered out loud  “why was she so weak”.   I honestly didn’t know. I told her maybe, it was because I didn’t get her downstairs yesterday.   We both  agreed  that she should come downstairs at least twice a day.

After breakfast it was time to get her into the shower. When that was finished, I blow dry and styled her hair and gave her a Clarisonic facial. She loves to be pampered. She asked me if my older sister would know how to do all of this. I reassured her that Cherri would be just fine.

Fixed her a hotdog and some cottage cheese for lunch.  And now she’s laying down for her afternoon nap.  I pull the shades on both of her windows, and turned off the bedside table lamp. I covered her up and teased her that she was becoming a “old lady right in front of me”. That made her smile. Making sure the little space heater was on,  I tiptoed out of the room and gently shut her door.

Here I am, sitting on the front porch swing. The sun is bright and warm. The temperature is almost 70°. Yes, warm for November,  but I’ll take it.   Where do I go from here? How long does it take? I don’t really even know the question that I’m asking.  Will I always have this peaceful feeling?  Will I always be able to care for her, the way that she needs to be taken care of?   One thing that I know for certain, is this. This exact moment in time, I am where I’m supposed to be.  I wouldn’t change this day for the world. You are growing old right before my very eyes, and I am cherishing every moment that I have with you mom.

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5:20 AM Saturday morning

I got up to use the restroom and decided to brush my teeth and drink some water. I came back to bed to snuggle with my husband. And of course, it’s Saturday morning, which means no going to work today.

He is still in bed, which rarely happens at this time of the morning.. He’s a very early riser. I snuggle up close to him and let my mind wander.

He is so warm, his body has always been able to radiate heat. In the last 40 years he has gave me so much comfort and warmth. He never complains, this man of mine. He works so hard to provide for me all that I need.

Life has happened much faster than I ever thought it would. Together we raised three beautiful and smart children. They have all chosen well. One of them is still finding his path to wholeness. We are blessed with two wonderful grandchildren. Hopefully someday we will have more.

But the bottom line is, as a lay here in bed writing in my journal, I’m thankful for this life of mine. I haven’t experienced the many trials and tribulations that my family and friends have. Oh, but I have had my years of struggles and ups and downs. You see, nobody’s life is perfect. But I always choose to look at the brighter side. I could write you one paragraph after another of the angst in raising teenagers or the struggles we had to make ends meet when they were little. The stressful days and sleepless nights in caring for my mother before she passed away. I could tell you that my stomach is in knots when I think of searching for a job that is a better fit for my personality and zest for life.

What’s most important is my attitude about where I am in this moment in time in my life. It is now way past 5:20 AM. He has gotten up to use the restroom and is downstairs in the kitchen making coffee. I’ve heard the dogs go in and out of the house. Way over a half hour has gone by since I started this journal entry. I suppose it’s time for me to get up now and to start my Saturday routine and chores. Its going to be a busy weekend for sure with all that we have planned. And here has just arrived my steaming cup of cinnamon coffee. I kiss him as he sets the cup down on my bedside table. Thank you honey. I may sit here for just a few more minutes and reflect upon my day, my life.

Nightlight

I was doing a few last minute things, before I left for work. Hurrying around the house I went upstairs and mom’s nightlight in her bathroom turned off as I passed by. I stopped and looked into the bathroom and it was surely off.

I thought that was sort of weird. I went on into the other bedroom grabbed what I needed and when I passed by, the night light was back on. I realized then that it was my mom telling me to have a good day.

I know this may sound weird or strange for you to read. But that is her nightlight. That night light never shuts off and on all by itself. It does not have a light sensor.

An electrician may have some kind of exclamation for me. And that’s OK. However, I know it was a small sign from my mom. A sign that she still watches over me and loves me. For that reason alone, I will always keep her night light on in the bathroom.

Life has passed me by

Life has passed me by. Is that even the correct terminology? How about life has quickly come and gone. I just started thinking, that I’ve been in this house for 31 years now.

I hardly remember moving in. Our daughter was just eight months old. The boys were three years and four years old. I remember nursing my baby girl and putting her to bed. I vaguely remember the grade school years. And of course the summer and winter and spring with daycare children sharing their life with my own children. The memories are many.

The teenage years are like a blur. Wonderful & fun but yes they went all too quickly. High school and college graduation seemed to be days apart.

Before I knew it, they are getting married and having children. They are all three living their own lives. You can’t even begin to imagine how quickly it all came and went. I don’t remember all of the many many years in detail. Sad but true.

So here I am, sitting alone in my house. I’ve done my normal Saturday chores of cleaning and laundry. I’ve walked the three levels. I look in all four of the bedrooms. I try to remember as best as I can all the precious memories. Too many to count. Too many to even recollect.

I know that they remember. I know that they will say they lived a charmed life. Raised by two parents who deeply loved each other. Parents not perfect, but parents willing to work. They had laughter and fun, structure and discipline, and a childhood well deserved and well lived. When they are older, these children of ours, if asked, I know they will say “they wouldn’t have had it any other way”. And of course, this brings tears to my eyes. I feel like I’ve done well by them. I feel like they appreciated all that they ever had.

But I have to admit, it happened too quickly. I have the honor of leaving my legacy of love to all three of them. They will all three go on… long, very long, after I’m gone. My hope is that they share with others about the life that they lived. That the countless memories they have, will be talked about again and again.

My goodness, we didn’t have everything. But we had so much more. They will share about their home life and how we waited every night for daddy to come home for dinner. We ate as a family at the dining room table. I believe today, that doesn’t happen as much as I’d like.

They will share about the discipline they had. Right or wrong, but it made them the wonderful people they are today.

They will share about other moving in and living with us. About how our house was always open. During the day, the front door was never locked. Our front porch and porch swing were welcome by many neighbors and friends. A place of solitude and comfort.

They will share about coming “home” to the house of their childhood and how it is somewhat different yet, always the same.

And this all brings tears to my eyes. Tears of joy. I know without anybody around me to tell me, that …I done good. That I loved them with all of my heart.

I may be alone in this house of mine. But my word, I am truly never ever alone. Life may have gone by too quickly. But I wouldn’t have it ..any …other ..way.

It’s been two years.

Yes, it has. And I have to say it is getting easier.

The anniversary of your death and then a few days later, your birthday, always brings sadness to my heart. However, I can now think of you and not cry. Oh yes, the tears still come periodically. But mom, so much has happened in the last two years, since you left us.

Life is moving right along. January 2019 has proven to be one of the coldest months ever. You would not like this at all. And you would worry about all of us out driving in this extreme cold weather.

Today we had homemade pizza. You would not have liked it. The kids and grandkids came.

Felicity looks so cute with her short haircut and her pierced ears. She’s quite the little lady.

Owen is “cool” and quiet. Maturing right before my very eyes. He hugs me and still says “I love you Grannie”. My heart melts.

Rob had his granddaughters all afternoon. That little Valen is so precious. She keeps us all on our toes.

Rebekah loves her job at the bank. She’s like a whole new person. This job is perfect for her. I know you would be so proud.

DJ and Rob talk about their company/jobs and both enjoy their profession.

Dave and I laughed and teased each other today. We had fun. I feel so blessed to have this home filled with love.

I sure wish you were here to enjoy it all. But honestly mom, I feel your presence all the time. I hope you are watching over me.

Yes, it has been two years. But if I close my eyes real tight, it seems like yesterday. And if I open my eyes and allow the tears to fall, it feels like forever. I still love you. I still miss you.

My grief..

So, the last time I had actually put a post on Facebook was December 22. Others have posted on my page or tagged me in a post.

I’ve just been enjoying my family and my friends. And quite honestly, “just getting through the holidays”.

I am busy, happy and I am sad. Never in 1 million years did I think I would miss her so very much. Yes, I’m talking about my mom. She’s with me most of the time. On my mind. But I am surviving my second Christmas without her.

I knew that eventually I would post pictures and talk about all the blessings I had during the holidays. I just wasn’t ready.

Today, while returning items to a store and making new purchases, I was waiting in line behind two ladies.

In the back of my mind, I knew. But, I still have to ask “are you two related?”. They said yes, and they were mother and daughter. Mother had just celebrated her 80th birthday. I smile to the younger of the two and told her what a blessing to still have her mother and her life. She agreed and at that moment, I lost it as the tears fell from my eyes.

I made my purchases all the time trying to hold in the tears of my grief. I rushed out of the store quickly.

Here I sit in my car, journaling. Trying to make sense of what just happened. I still wish she was here shopping with me. I wish I would have appreciated her more. I wish I would’ve asked her more questions.

I live with regret. She drove me crazy. She’s frustrated me. Sometimes even embarrassed me. But she was my mom. And I miss her still.

So now is when I pull myself up from the bootstraps. I take a deep breath and remember how blessed I am. I have this wonderful big family who loves and adores me. And I’m sure when I get home I will post about my wonderful holiday & share pictures. Listening to my mom talk to me in my mind and telling me to “get over it, I’m gone, and your life is going on”. Smiling with tears still in my eyes.

Yes, she is gone and my blessed life is going on. All the while, learning to live with my grief. ♥️

This momma’s heart

So much going on, and all of it a heartache. Sitting here on my front porch swing, the dogs resting at my feet and my mind is going to so many different places.

I’m sad and hurting. I wish I didn’t have a care in the world, like the birds I see taking a bath in the puddle left over from the rain. Maybe half a dozen birds I’m watching, enjoying the sunshine and a bath.

As I sit here, I wish my mom was sitting here next to me. Does she know how much I miss her and how deeply I am grieving for her presence?

My heart breaks for my little brother. He’s getting his life right with God, but at what price did he have to pay?

My heart breaks for my only daughter and all of the challenges she is facing with her fertility. She was meant to be a mother. She wants to have a baby more than anything in the whole wide world. And this is one thing that I can’t fix for her.

Our 2nd son found a job that makes him happy. But, he wants to find a nice girl to spend his life with and to have a family one day of his own. I pray that wherever she is, she waits for him. That God leads their paths straight to each other. I need to pray for her more often. Scolding myself.

I am sad as I sit here on my porch swing. Life doesn’t seem fair to me at this moment.

And just like that, I am reminded of all the blessings that I do have. I look around at this home that I’ve lived in, 31 years this very weekend. So many memories. A lifetime really. Our children, preschool and babies. Decades ago.

So here I am, this mama’s heart sad and grieving. Sitting on my swing where I allow myself to remember all of the good times, the bad times, and of the times. Wishing, hoping, and praying, for all those that I love so dearly. I wish I could fix my brothers life. I wish I could fix my middle son’s life. I wish I could fix my darling daughters life.

This mama’s breaking heart….

It’s a foggy morning.

I was watching the news this morning and a local news anchor had her baby. A precious baby girl. And the first thing that I thought was ” mom would’ve been so happy for her.”

I still remember so much. I’m very thankful that she left so many memories with me.

I know as time passes, my brain will become foggy and my memories will slowly disappear. It will be those days that I will turn back to this journal and read to remember.

My hope is that you cherish the love ones in your life and write down the special moments that you have with them.

It may be a foggy morning, but I still remember so much about you dear mom.