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Thread: Restoration Saga

  1. #11
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    Default My Day "Off"

    ((((((Hugs to All))) ~

    Virginia ~

    Thank you so much for your understanding and encouragement. You experienced a great deal of trauma with your husband's passing, as well as another relative around the same time. It's no wonder that your mind went blank about pumping gas or forgot to take your keys out of your car.

    On all of the bereaved parents' forums to which I belonged, the parents all described similar stories as yours. Forgetfulness, confusion, unable to follow a conversation, a strong desire to be isolated and avoid others. It's a long list particularly during the first year, and most especially during the first 6 months. We named it: Grief Brain.

    Stress alters our brain and entire body, and grief is the number one stressor. So many Moms would post that they felt like they were losing their sanity. And the slightest glitch in their lives pushed them to the edge. Sadly, lots of them had serious health issues after losing their children, such as heart attacks, an autoimmune disorder, mini strokes, diabetes ...

    Knowing this and reminding myself of it is helping me a little during this crisis. "This is expected. It's normal. You're okay, Rose. Just deal with it as it comes," I keep telling myself.

    Thank you for taking the time to share your experiences with me, so that I don't feel alone. You and your loved ones are in my prayers.

    MY DAY "OFF"

    And yes, I did take today off, Virginia. I don't recall waking up at 3:00, and when I did, it was 5:30, so I must have been really really REALLY tired. When I got up, my back pain was hot and screaming. I had to skip my morning walk. I slathered on some Aspercreme. An hour later, I took 1 Advil. I almost never take Advil, so it usually is effective.

    I figure that the stuffing of tons of laundry into large bags yesterday in a hot garage, as well as climbing and descending the stairs, standing on my feet too long to discuss the project with Jeff and Julio, and the stress after realizing the crew didn't wear masks or gloves, are major factors in this pain.

    I decided to make a decent breakfast: scrambled egg white with chopped veggie ham, shredded cheddar cheese in a pita pocket with hash browns on the side.

    I watched Jimmy Fallon's at home opening on You Tube. Barbra Streisand called him on her cell, and they had a pleasant chat. She mentioned all of the charities she is supporting now, and she made a video for our front line workers, using her rendition of "You'll Never Walk Alone" after 9/11.

    Here is Barbra's video:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WkJBKhhUbkQ

    I wept through it, and when it was finished, I began sobbing. That is okay, not alarming. I need to cry to release the stress and sorrow. If I hold it in, it will make me weaker and further compromise my immune system. Tears and laughter are healing as they release hormones related to stress.

    This is why I incorporate humor into every crisis, including this one. ICU doctors and nurses knew that when they came to Jon's or Michael's room, there might be tears, or strong advocacy and hard questions from me, or a humorous remark. Or maybe all of those things. I even made humorous remarks to the paramedics, police and CSI officer, while they surrounded me in Jon's room, with Jim in the bed. Jim would do the same thing. And, Jim and our boys know that laughter is important to relieve stress.

    When you're walking a tightrope, you need something to give you balance. That is the point of tears and laughter, our God-given tools for coping.

    MY CALL TO JULIA

    As things were left unfinished yesterday, I called her today, not wanting to disturb her Saturday, but also knowing that Monday all you know what will break lose. I wanted to make sure that she knows my requests, or as I referred to them, "parameters" going forward.

    I need the weekends off. Two days without men walking through my home, no noise, no commotion, privacy. Start time 9 a.m. Finish time 4 p.m. Masks and gloves on everyone. "I have to take care of myself, which is what you told me to do yesterday, and all of my friends have been telling me for decades, but especially now. So, I'm going to have to be unyielding to changes, and I'm sorry if that messes up everyone's schedules, but if I keel over, well, good luck getting paid for what you've done so far. You need me to survive to see it through."

    Once again, Julia and I had a lengthy conversation. She was caring for her mom, who has cancer and is in hospice. She gets everything I'm telling her, because she's been living it too with her daughter and mom. She described her ritual for getting delivered "take out" food, groceries, and on and on.

    Then, I told her that our dear friend in England suggested that someday I fly there to visit them and see "Jim's country." I haven't responded yet, but I will. I told Julia though: "I am never ever ever getting on an airplane, ever again. Fly, by myself, for 12 hours, to a foreign country. Now? No. Nope. Never."

    She said she has felt that way for a long time too.

    "Are we related?" I joked.

    She laughed, "I think we are. People call me a Germaphobe."

    "I call myself a Germaphobe, proudly, because in today's world, we have to be so very careful. Are you my long, lost Sister?"

    Again, laughter helps to diffuse tension. Of all of the companies in this restoration business, I was directed to the one, where I'm finding a loving, caring person advocating for me, understanding me, telling me to take care of myself and that she will do all that she can to make sure I am able to do that.

    So often, I hear Jim saying to me, "I'm so sorry I left you with this, but I know you will do whatever is needed, and we're watching over you."

    Julia called me back, and said their crew wants to remove the washer/dryer at 7 a.m. That's a half hour later than their original time. I said, "I'm not trying to be difficult, and I know you have other clients and jobs, and economic times are trying, but I have to be able to go the disance with this project. So, I'm asking your crew to come at 8 and Jeff's crew to arrive at 9."

    I paused, "And I'm sorry to put you in the middle of all of this on Mother's Day weekend, as you care for your mom and daughter."

    "No, no, please stop apologizing. I completely understand, and I want to do what is best for you. So, if I don't call you back today, that means that it's set for 8 and 9 on Monday, as long as you're comfortable with that."

    I agreed.

    TOMORROW

    I will launder my clothes, put them in plastic bags and slide them under the futon bed, so that I have access to them during this disruption. I'll also wash towels and have them accessible. I even brought down my walking gear from the upstairs bedroom. It's hanging over the dining room chairs.

    I wonder what Martha Stewart would suggest in this circumstance?

    I'll have to hose down the patio furniture again, because it is still dusty and dirty. I want the option to sit out there. I don't have any clean throws or towels to put over them. The set is very old and not that comfortable, so I can't spend much time there.

    I hope that I have the energy to do all of that tomorrow.

    Thank you all so much for your love, prayers, and continuing support. Please continue to stay safe during this COVID-19 pandemic, be well, be happy, and laugh and cry as often as necessary to help you cope.

    I love you all and pray for you and your loved ones every day.

    Love & Light,



    Rose

    *Virtual Hugs Are Germ-Free!
    Mom to Jon, 49, and Michael, 32, who were born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease and courageous spirits. Our Angel Michael received his wings in 2003. Our Angel Jon received his wings April 2019. April 2020, Jim, the world's most wonderful Dad, joined them. Now, they all watch over me.

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  3. #12
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    ((((((Hugs to All)))))) ~

    Donna ~

    I'm so sorry! I didn't see your post, while I was composing mine throughout the day.

    Oh, yes, it was the 80s, and I needed to support Jonathan and Michael, so I worked for an environmental engineering firm. I wrote proposals for aviation, water, sewer, transportation, flood control, desalination, geothermal energy, sludge recovery, Environmental Impact Reports, biological studies, etc. The engineers wrote the Scope of Work, with my guidance, editing (rewriting) and reorganization.

    I wrote the rest of the proposal, including "boilerplate," which is a copy and paste statement about the company, related experience, rules/regulations, laws, resumes of the company's experts, etc.

    AQMD is Air Quality Management District. It's always a factor in any environmental disruption.

    Like removing asbestos in our home.

    My reaction to Jeff was defensive, because I felt like he was treating me like an old lady, who knows nothing about anything. I don't blame him for thinking that, because I'm old, bent and grieving.

    But this bent, grieving old lady still has the gumption to tell this young man essentially, "Dude, I knew all of these terms, while you were in elementary school."

    I have collected a tremendous amount of diverse information and insight in my life, but I never thought that I'd work for a big corporation. It's a classic case of doing what you have to do to survive.

    It was very interesting and challenging, and I understand so much more about our environment from that experience. Like us, the Earth is fragile.

    Thank you so much for your love, prayers and encouragement, Donna. Sending my love and prayers to you, Jim, Nick, Natalie, your brother in law, sister and entire family.

    Love & Light,



    Rose

    *Virtual Hugs Are Germ-Free! *hamile
    Mom to Jon, 49, and Michael, 32, who were born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease and courageous spirits. Our Angel Michael received his wings in 2003. Our Angel Jon received his wings April 2019. April 2020, Jim, the world's most wonderful Dad, joined them. Now, they all watch over me.

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  5. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Earth Mother 2 Angels View Post
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    ((((((Hugs to All)))))) ~

    Donna ~

    I'm so sorry! I didn't see your post, while I was composing mine throughout the day.

    Oh, yes, it was the 80s, and I needed to support Jonathan and Michael, so I worked for an environmental engineering firm. I wrote proposals for aviation, water, sewer, transportation, flood control, desalination, geothermal energy, sludge recovery, Environmental Impact Reports, biological studies, etc. The engineers wrote the Scope of Work, with my guidance, editing (rewriting) and reorganization.

    I wrote the rest of the proposal, including "boilerplate," which is a copy and paste statement about the company, related experience, rules/regulations, laws, resumes of the company's experts, etc.

    AQMD is Air Quality Management District. It's always a factor in any environmental disruption.

    Like removing asbestos in our home.

    My reaction to Jeff was defensive, because I felt like he was treating me like an old lady, who knows nothing about anything. I don't blame him for thinking that, because I'm old, bent and grieving.

    But this bent, grieving old lady still has the gumption to tell this young man essentially, "Dude, I knew all of these terms, while you were in elementary school."

    I have collected a tremendous amount of diverse information and insight in my life, but I never thought that I'd work for a big corporation. It's a classic case of doing what you have to do to survive.

    It was very interesting and challenging, and I understand so much more about our environment from that experience. Like us, the Earth is fragile.

    Thank you so much for your love, prayers and encouragement, Donna. Sending my love and prayers to you, Jim, Nick, Natalie, your brother in law, sister and entire family.

    Love & Light,



    Rose

    *Virtual Hugs Are Germ-Free! *hamile
    Hi Rose, I completely relate to your defensiveness because I had an experience back in February where a guy acted like I knew zero about a complicated process I actually knew a TON about as I deal with certain paperwork and situations daily and I felt condescended to by him because he acted a bit like the was so much better at understanding it(sexism maybe? In my anger I felt like he thought I was an idiot or a baby), when he was actually pretty naive, so I got really pissed and told him "Don't mess around with things you don't understand!" Some of my defensiveness was because of bad ablest experiences I have so my reaction was maybe too harsh, but he did learn his lesson once he faced a similar situation because of COVID19 and apologized, even asked for my opinion on how to fight for something he needed for his safety so sometimes these situations can be for the better of all in the end. :) I totally feel ya! Prayers always!
    Last edited by funnylegs4; 05-09-2020 at 08:27 PM.
    Mild Spastic Diplegia Cerebral Palsy and bad proprioception.
    My website for my original short films! http://cripvideoproductions.com/astrokeofendurance.php

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  7. #14
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    Default Mother's Day


    ((((((Hugs to All)))))) ~

    HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!

    I hope that you've all had a lovely, relaxing day.

    This is my first Mother's Day all alone. My first without Jim, my second without Jonathan, and my 16th without Michael. I am so very lonely for them.

    You know how often I've mentioned that I view our home as a reflection of myself. If it's neat and tidy, then, I'm doing okay. If its in chaos, I'm in chaos. Right now, it's ripped to shreds, a mess, filthy, with all of our belongings scattered in the house and in a pod. A majority of them in the trash or being donated.

    That is how I feel. Ripped apart emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually. The broken pieces of my heart are scattered everywhere among the empty closets, being blown around by dehumidifiers, and trampled upon by workers trying to pull those pieces back together for me.

    It dawned on me the overwhelming job I will have, when the project is complete, choosing what remains and what goes once again. All of my clothes in the bedroom closet were exposed to mold, so I will have to wash everything I keep. I will have to clean Jonathan's room and try to return it to the serene place it was, once I tended to it after he passed.

    In February, when Jim moved into Jonathan's room, it was once again a place of crisis, as much as I endeavored to make it peaceful for Jim.

    My back pain yesterday and today has been searing. I had to take another Advil today to calm it down. The stress has likely exacerbated my RA, and the exhaustion isn't helping it either.

    MY DAY

    Although I was in great pain, I did take a walk today. I hoped it would bring me relief. I encountered a neighbor with his dog, and the dog loves me, came up to me, while her "dad" kept his distance from me. She looked up at me with those soulful eyes, and I said, "I'm not supposed to pet you. Oh, don't look at me that way." I gently scratched her behind one ear for a couple of seconds. "I will wash my hands for a full minute, when I get home!" I said to her owner. He told me to take care of myself and be well.

    I washed a load of my clothes and a load of towels to get me through however long I am deprived of my washer/dryer. I will impress upon the crew tomorrow that I need to have them reinstalled sooner rather than later. I don't need Jon's closet or the upstairs bathroom, but I do need to have clean clothes and be able to shower.

    I made my favorite breakfast, which I call Mock Eggs Benedict. I can't eat yolks, so I make a mock hollandaise sauce with butter, Vegenaise, dijon mustard, fresh squeezed lemon juice, and turmeric. That tops sour dough toast, veggie ham, and an egg white. I crumble black olives over it with a dash of paprika. I had hash browns on the side.

    It's not as good as the first Eggs Benedict I had ~ in the French Quarter in New Orleans. I wasn't a vegetarian, and egg yolks didn't bother me then. Through the years of ordering Eggs Benedict at various restaurants, none compared to the first one. But at least my version somewhat satisfies my longing for it.

    Ironically, I watched the movie, "Father's Day," with Robin Williams and Billy Crystal, which I have seen dozens of times with Jonathan and Jim. We always enjoyed these two very funny guys, and this movie was a favorite with us. As I searched for movies on cable today, it was amazing how many were in Jon's DVD repertoire, and all ones that we enjoyed together many times.

    It didn't really lift my spirits, as I watched it remembering Jim and Jon, and wishing, longing for them to be here with me.

    Of course, another memory attached forever to Mother's Day is Mother's Day 2003, when Michael coded in the ER and began his journey home to God.

    I am surrounded by memories and sorrow. I feel raw and disconnected. And very alone.

    I keep digging through my coping tool box to find something, anything, to help me. You are helping me tremendously, and I cannot thank you enough for all of your love, prayers, and support. Still, I feel so alone now. Today just emphasizes that loneliness.

    Somehow I must stay the course, find the strength to carry on, and believe that all will happen as it should. Thank you for walking beside me.

    I love you and pray for you and your loved ones every day. Be kind and good to yourselves, wrap your arms around yourselves and feel my hugs.

    I will look after you and I will look after anybody you say needs to be looked after, any way you say. I am here. I brought my whole self to you. I am your mother.
    Maya Angelou
    Love & Light,



    Rose

    *Virtual Hugs Are Germ-Free!
    Mom to Jon, 49, and Michael, 32, who were born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease and courageous spirits. Our Angel Michael received his wings in 2003. Our Angel Jon received his wings April 2019. April 2020, Jim, the world's most wonderful Dad, joined them. Now, they all watch over me.

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    Rose, Your life is so different now for sure... It's torn apart and in shreds as you said, but sometimes to make something totally new it has to be torn apart. After this storm you are weathering through I pray that you will have some peace and restful times. Time to really see how you've touched so many and will continue t touch many. I can only imagine how difficult yesterday was for you. I pray that your house will be back in order as soon as possible. I pray that the weather allows you to spend time outside. The days I can be outside reading make it easier to weather through this strange new time. I come to read everyday to follow your journey is a privilege. You inspire, and you've been a great source of information for sure.
    My day was very quiet. Breakfast in bed with Kathleen, beautiful hanging flower basket and some favorites like dark chocolate and hard cider. Stay well safe and strong!
    Mary Grace

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  11. #16
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    Rose, I know when the restoration of your home is done you will want to immediately get everything in order and just the way you want it. Remember you don't have to. You are on your own schedule now. Do things as you feel like it and on the days your back is at it's worse take a break from doing in order to let it heal a little. It has taken me years to learn that I only have to answer to myself now. That is not always good, and it may sound selfish, but I had to work after my husband died and I was always on someone else's time table it seemed. Still, I would have it all back if I could, but this is the little bit of satisfaction that I try to give myself.
    Virginia

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    Duplicate Post! Oops!

    Love & Light,



    Rose
    Last edited by Earth Mother 2 Angels; 05-11-2020 at 05:21 PM.
    Mom to Jon, 49, and Michael, 32, who were born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease and courageous spirits. Our Angel Michael received his wings in 2003. Our Angel Jon received his wings April 2019. April 2020, Jim, the world's most wonderful Dad, joined them. Now, they all watch over me.

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    Default Thank You

    ((((((Hugs to All)))))) ~

    funnylegs4 ~

    I'm sorry I missed your post yesterday. I was pretty self-involved. I'm sorry that you had that encounter. We "old gals" know all about sexism, patronizing, and harassment by the opposite sex, particularly in the work place. Hence, #MeToo.

    I don't think the asbestos chief intended to insult or devalue me. It's his job to explain these technicalities to his clients. I'm old, but I still have a few marbles left, and now he, and all of the other men in the garage know that.

    John told me to "play dumb" about the leak to the insurance, and I shook my head. "John, I have had a lifetime of dealing with a wide range of crises, and I know how to approach every situation. Yes, I'm stressed, grieving, exhausted and in pain, but I still am able to be professional. I don't know diddly about plumbing, so I don't have to play dumb. (And I admitted that to Julia and Nick on the conference call initially when they discussed the "gear box.") I am going to emphasize that Jim was dying, and we lost our son last year, so my life has been outrageously stressful. (And I did to everyone involved in the project.)"

    As a result, I am being treated with respect by all of the workers, even the two who didn't wear masks and gloves. After people hear our life story, they are gobsmacked (one of Jim's favorite words). I wish I had a video camera on me all of the time to capture their facial expressions and their reactions. The odds are great that none of them have met a family like ours.

    As these workers walk through the Sanctuary to Jon's room, they see the photos everywhere, and the angels, the candles, the urns. They see us as we were when we were young and fit. It's the same with the police, the paramedics, the EMTs, etc. In Jon's room, they see Lakers, Buckeyes, Dodgers, Tommy Lasorda autographed photo, Doobie Brothers autographed photo, stacks and stacks of CDs and DVDs, teddy bear collections, more photos. They see the bed and mattress. Can't miss any of that.

    In the garage, they have to work around the stacks of boxes of medical supplies, and I tell them right away ~ "these are medical supplies." What must they be thinking?

    As usual, I went off on a tangent. Sorry. Never let anyone intimidate, demean, or treat you "less than." Jim always said that men overpower women, because men know that women are better than them ... at everything. My feminist husband!

    Thank you so much for your prayers, and I send them back to you and your loved ones.

    Mary Grace ~

    Breakfast in bed with Kathleen, flowers, chocolate and hard cider. Sounds good to me! Scoot over! Aww ... I love this vision.

    Thank you so much for your kind words and encouragement. I was musing about another word to describe my life right now and "upheaval" came to my mind. It is truly an upheaval in every sense of that word.

    As I sat through today's demolition with the asbestos crew of 3 men, and I heard the sawing, pounding, vacuuming, the machines whirring everywhere, the ET like tunnels of plastic and suits they wear inside the bubble, I thought, "This is really happening. Wow."

    It is happening quickly and efficiently with every step so far.

    Julio and Jose were here this morning to remove the washer and dryer. They sent the supervisor and assistant, in lieu of the two maskless guys. Julio reassured me that all was going well, and he said that this demolition shouldn't take more than 2 days, and then he comes in to monitor the damage and take photos.

    As Julio was leaving for his next project, I told him that Julia and I had a long conversation. Julio said, "She told me, and she really care so much for you and your situation. She's in a similar situation, as you know, and I just knew that you had to be connected to her to help you, and for you to help her, through this."

    I told him about our conversation about germs, and that I asked her if we were related. He laughed. "You could definitely be related. I'm so glad you have each other."

    I asked how his Mother's Day was, and he said his wife loves to bake, and she baked a lot of different "things, and we took them to our Moms. It was a nice day."

    I'll fill in the rest of the day in my update below.

    I know I'm blessed. I feel love emanating from these people, who see that I am fragile. They can look at the photos of me 28 years ago and then look at me now. They can hear it in my voice in phone conversations. Julio can see it in my eyes, because he looks straight at me when he talks. He's donating our clothes to a rehab center. There is love here, and they feel it too.

    Thank you so much for your prayers and know that I hold you, Kathleen, and your entire family and loved ones in mine.

    Virginia ~

    Thank your for your wisdom and insight. I appreciate you sharing all of this with me.

    And, you know me well. Yes, I'm thinking about putting it all back together as soon as possible, because I'm compulsive about it in some way. Remember when I spent time cleaning the office and upstairs bedroom, knowing it would be torn apart for the renovation? Well, now, it is like the entire house regurgitated its contents everywhere. There isn't a room in the house unaffected by this upheaval.

    And all of those bags and boxes in the pod will be unloaded at the end of this saga, and I will have no other choice than to address what to do with them at that time. The clock is ticking for this project to be done, so the insurance will approve it, and all of the contractors will get paid.

    Living in this chaos and clutter will probably drive me around the pole. I will be compelled to get it organized. It's who I am. I'm kind of driven, and as Julia said to me, "working on fumes."

    I will carry your wisdom with me to remind me that I must take care of myself in the middle of my life's tornado. I promise that I will do this, and thank you for your love and prayers. I pray for you and your loved ones too, every day.

    I'll write a separate post to fill you in on today's adventure in restoration land.

    I love you all and thank you for the blessing you are in my life, in our lives, in all of our lives. Be well. Be strong.

    Love & Light,



    Rose
    Mom to Jon, 49, and Michael, 32, who were born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease and courageous spirits. Our Angel Michael received his wings in 2003. Our Angel Jon received his wings April 2019. April 2020, Jim, the world's most wonderful Dad, joined them. Now, they all watch over me.

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  17. #19
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    Default Demolition Day

    ((((((Hugs to All)))))) ~

    I was up and at 'em early, because I just knew the crews would be early, and they were. I went out to move the van at 7:30, and the asbestos crew was sitting in their truck, waiting for their boss. I chatted with them from a distance, then I moved the van.

    Things started cooking at 8 a.m. Three asbestos crew members to demolish my home. They worked hard and efficiently. I was amazed. They fabricated staging for each of the 4 sites, like tents, covered the stairs in plastic, brought various machines in, and started pounding away.

    Meanwhile, I made oatmeal, blueberries, with a touch of maple syrup for my breakfast. As I was relegated to the downstairs, I climbed into Jonathan's recliner, turned on TCM, and I watched movies from the 1930s, all musicals, with dancing and comedy. One of my favorites, Ginger and Fred in "Top Hat."

    Every time the guys walked through the living room or came downstairs, I acknowledged and thanked them. I periodically asked how it was going, and their answer was "Good. It's all good."

    I wore my mask all of the time.

    In the morning, I took a break to survey the backyard. I watered all of the plants, straightened the angels and artificial roses, which light up at dark, trimmed some plants.

    I took several breaks to sit on the patio, watching a hawk circling in the distance, listening to and watching the glistening sun light on Michael's waterfall, admiring the trees around us, the brilliant, clear blue sky, and embracing the cool, gentle breeze caressing me.

    I looked at the yard and imagined it as I want it to be. I looked at the exterior of our home and imagined it as I want it to be. I closed my eyes and remembered the many ways it was in 42 years. I studied the deck, where Jim and I were married. The deck he built for us with wheelchair access. Upon that deck, Jim's workshop, where he crafted magnificent Native American style flutes, always in perfect pitch.

    Jim, Jonathan and Michael are surrounding me with their love and their protection. They are very near, very present, and holding me close. Death cannot separate us. Nothing can ever separate us. We are one.

    Tomorrow, the asbestos crew of today will return at 9 a.m. to remove the garage dry wall and take out the staging for Jon's closet. They gave me access to the upstairs, which is why I'm able to post this evening.

    I must say that I was shocked when they brought down the tub in tact. I chucked, "I'm not sorry to see that go!" But they didn't bring their van for its disposal, so I had to return our van to the driveway quickly, so none of our neighbors could see it. Yeah, it's that bad.

    This part is almost over. So, I will move on day to day, as it comes. It's the only way.

    Thank you all for your love, prayers, and for walking beside us for all of these years.

    I love you and pray for you and your loved ones always.

    Be safe and well.

    Love & Light,



    Rose

    *Virtual Hugs Are Germ-Free!
    Mom to Jon, 49, and Michael, 32, who were born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease and courageous spirits. Our Angel Michael received his wings in 2003. Our Angel Jon received his wings April 2019. April 2020, Jim, the world's most wonderful Dad, joined them. Now, they all watch over me.

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    My dear Rose,
    Thank you for the updates! I can imagine you sitting outside and finally having the chance to reflect on 'being one' with your beloveds. Even when your house is being demolished upstairs and so many things are in chaos. You are so very, very brave to go through this now - I know there was no choice, but many would have collapsed and just moved out or said no - this cannot be done.
    I wanted to share what I wrote on my blog for Mother's Day - I thought of you and of me and all the Mothers here on CN. It's called Celebrating Mothers (sorry it's late for the actual day!)
    At the moment of birth, there is suddenly stillness and a collective intake of breath. There is recognition by everyone that a momentous and transformative event has taken place – a miracle. A new baby is placed on a mother’s breast and life begins. This is the baby’s first caring relationship and it represents the sacred and pure headwaters of every other caring relationship that will come later on in life. At the moment of birth and the days following, it is the mother who is the producer and director of this delicate and vital dance. She teaches the first and most important lesson in being human: basic trust.

    As the baby grows, a mother shares her love and care with others. The family and the network begin. In the earliest days after birth, the father and inner circle of loved ones will ensure that the mother is unburdened by concerns other than those of her baby. Everyone understands that mother-baby bonding, nursing and close physical contact is of central importance to the health and wellbeing of these two principal players who have been through so much together in the gestation and birth process.

    As weeks pass, care is shared and others develop their own close, caring relationships with baby. A different family configuration begins to settle into familiarity with a new member in it. Roles shift and change.

    The mother retains a central role. She is the vigilant worrier, the multi-tasker – she remembers shoe sizes, food preferences and school assignment due dates. As children grow to teenagers, she might become a confessor and confidante. All of these roles, she assumes on the basis of need and love. Need and love – that is the currency of motherhood.

    If a mother is lucky enough to welcome grandchildren into her life, she will join the helpful inner circle of loved ones whose role is to support the new mother and baby. A new life cycle begins.

    When a mother gets old and needs help, need and love begin their exchange activity again, but differently. Who is helping whom may have reversed, but new lessons are being taught and learned.

    Mothers are the warp and weft of our most important, loving relationships in life. Their work is vital and central to all we know about how to live a life that is rich in the love of friends and family.

    Happy Mother’s Day, Everyone!
    xoxo Donna
    Donna, Mum to Natalie (22), ablebodied, kind and beautiful and Nicholas(26), severe CP, non-verbal, tube fed, multiple surgeries, chronic pain, happy kid except when the Liverpool football club or the Ottawa Senators Hockey Team are losing!
    Check out my blog: http://www.donnathomson.com


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