Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Holiday Plans and Such

White wing dove for dinner and the family gathered around my grandmother’s table. Mom busy in the kitchen. My sister and me checking in frequently to see what Mom and Grandmom had finished making and helping set the table. Stealing black olives from the tray of nibbles that sat on the table every year. That was a common theme for Thanksgiving when I was a kid. My uncle would be there and later his wife and kid too. It was a fun time. Even more so than the trip I and my sis would make with Grandmom and Granddad to the white wing hunting grounds in September so that Granddaddy could fill his game bag. Sis and I were the bird retrievers. Then we’d go back home to sit outside around a huge galvanized wash tub to pluck the feathers from Granddad’s catch.

Those days are gone and I’m solo so my Thanksgiving meal is often with friends and sometimes alone. This year I’ve been invited by friends Charlie and Nancy to join them and their daughter for a somewhat different type of Thanksgiving meal. We are having duck. The only time I've can remember eating duck was a Chinese dish which I think was Moo Goo Guy Pan. After reading the description on the menu I’d ordered it because I’d never had duck before. Visions of films showing how ducks were raised by folk who lived on ships and were sent into the water to eat and catch fish and then called back onboard with the ducks walking up a plank to the deck come to mind.

Being a good guest by my mother’s standards means that I bring something to the table or go over early to help with the preparation. I’ve offered to do both and will head to the store today to see if I can find some tiny “C” sized red potatoes to sauté. If the results are the same as the last dinner party I served them at there will be no leftovers.

John Knox Village where my parents live has been decorated for the past week and everyone is looking forward to the fantastic meal that will be served in the dining hall. Dad will be turning 88 on Thanksgiving so I’ll call later to talk, wish him, “Happy Birthday,” and chat with Mom. She’s been doing some better lately. There have been days where she was pretty alert and involved in all the activities that go on in the care center. Those are offset by days where she isn’t alert and involved, but even those are showing some improvement. Best of all is that I’m no longer getting one word answers from her when we talk on the phone. My sister continues to Skype with Mom regularly and that’s a real blessing since she won’t be able to come to TX for a while. I hope to go down sometime in December, but haven’t set a date yet as I’ve got church obligations and the guest rooms will be full on Christmas weekend. It may be New Years weekend like last year. The college I’m attending online decided to give us all a break for the last couple of weeks of the year so that may be my best time to go.

I’m looking forward to reading all about everyone else’s Thanksgiving meals and plans and have already started with San’s So till next time…

Peace! Hope! & Joy!

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Update by Request

Our beloved David, came by and asked about Mom. When I first got back I needed to space myself from what I’d experienced. Now I’m doing better, so this is what the news on Mom is.

Mom is working past her second stroke. She’s in a wonderful place called John Knox Village (JKV) where she and Dad have lived for quite a few years. The care center at JKV is really good and I couldn’t ask for better, more attentive nurses than they have (One of them caught the stroke while it was happening! Great nurse!). Dad sees Mom everyday and keeps us updated on how she is doing.

While she was in the hospital a cardiologist examined Mom and recommended a pacemaker because her heart was slow and irregular. That was done and hopefully Mom will continue to improve.

Post stroke, she has been kind of non communicative and wants to sleep a lot. Her doctor tells us that is normal and that she will come out of it over the next couple of months. Dad’s latest letter seemed to indicate that she is becoming more aware of her surroundings and seems to be interacting with others again.

While visiting, my meals were delivered to the care center, so I was able to join Mom for every meal. It was good being with her. I plan/hope to go back in December to see her again. We celebrated her birthday the Saturday I was there by gathering, giving her gifts, and using one of them (My sis sent a net book.) to Skype with my sister and her husband in FL. Mom really smiled seeing Jill and Bud.

Part of me says this post is done and part keeps saying, “You need to address both sides of the experience.” It hurts to think that Mom won’t be with me forever. Trying to come to terms with the idea is a changing experience. I keep reminding myself that Mom is a believer and will join Grandmom and Granddad in heaven. Local friends as well as distance ones have been very supportive and I’m so grateful for their love and understanding. While this is not something I’d want anyone else to go through I guess it’s unavoidable that some of my friends have and they are SO empathic with me that it makes me want to be like them. “God, help me grow through this and become more like Mom and my wonderful, caring friends.”

Peace! & Hope!