Monday, November 30, 2009

Like a Kid at Christmas

It has been a difficult couple of weeks. I felt like I was handling things o.k. and then it was time to say good bye to the cows. I was very disappointed when our first plan did not work out. The local ranch offered a very low price that rattled our cages. I called a couple of other farmers and arranged for a truck to come pick them up and take them to auction.

I am glad that Bonnie had decided to come up. It was sad to see them go and her support and Ken's was definitely needed in the situation. Not knowing the price the cows would bring only added to the distress. As it turned out the auction brought a couple thousand more so it was a good decision. Now, it's just a matter of getting use to the empty barnyard. At times mom remembers that they are gone & says she knows Pa could no longer take care of them. Other times, she thinks they are just over the hill. Who would ever have thought cows could be such a part of the fabric of a family. It feels like a hole has been ripped.

Yesterday, mom & I went to church as usual. It is difficult because mom is always asking questions about who I am, how long am I staying & where did I come from. After church, we stopped by the dump to say hi to dad. Mom gives him a quick hug & hurries over to look in the recycling bin. She pulls out a little tin can and smiles like she just got a present. She then moves over to the other door and pulls out another can. I'm thinking just what we need more stuff in that house but she is telling me she is going to put some flowers in those cans and they will be so cute. Later in the day when dad comes home he tell her he brought her a couple of boxes of dishes. Maybe, you will find something you want. She actually forgets about it & he reminds her. I tell her you better go look at those boxes. She puts on her big blue hat and jacket and I'm watching her from the kitchen window. She is beaming like a kid at Christmas as she looks in the big box. She hauls it in and ooohs and aaahs over her new treasurers. I go along with the excitement and figure in a few days I will be hauling it to the thrift store but for now mom is happy & dad enjoys her excitement.

How long will this last? When will another change need to happen? Is mom safe? Will she start a fire in the woodstove? Will she begin to wander? Does she really sleep at night? I have been repeating, "The Lord is my shepherd." in my racing mind.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


Another Sunday with mom & dad. I go up before church & have coffee with mom & dad and then mom & I go to church & dad goes to work at his dump attendant job. It was about 9:30 when I got there & I was very surprised to see there wasn't any coffee made!! No big deal to some people but mom always has coffee first thing. I have always been grateful that mom could still make coffee but I think the time has come when that is slipping away too. It is very sad. I hate Alzheimers.
We had a nice time in church & came home and made vegetable soup. Mom is a peeler and chopper as long as I am there to guide her. She quickly peeled carrots and potatoes. Uncle Mike, Aunty Eunice and Aunty Mary came as soon as we had our pot of soup on the stove. Mom was thrilled to see her sister and hugged her hard. She seemed a little confused about Eunice. Mom and her sister had some tough times in the past and it was nice to see that mom isn't dwelling on those feelings anymore. We had a nice visit with them. I was frustrated with mom at times. I know I shouldn't be because she can't help the forgetfulness but I miss my old mom so much. It hurts. I played polka music to lighten the mood and mom and I danced and Mary, Mike and Eunice clapped. Mom can keep the beat and loves the music. It made everyone smile.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Good News

Yesterday was the long awaited doctor's appt. for dad. We found out that his PSA numbers have gone down from 10 to 8 which means no radiation at this time. The doctor called it "watchful waiting" & we will go back the first week in March to check the numbers again. This is a great relief to all of us.

A couple weeks ago, Ken and I went to the Spooner nursing home & then I took dad to see it. It is a larger home with many activities and the staff seems very in tune with the patients. They have music, dancing and cooking class. I can not even imagine mom being there but I also can not imagine care at home forever. It seems dad looks more tired lately & mom is definitely more confused. I hate this disease and what it does to mom. I am thankful for the time we have.

This past weekend was my nieces wedding in Ohio. I went with a cousin and it turned out to be a wonderful time but also sad. It was the first family occasion that I did not travel with my mom. I would have loved to have her along but I know that a trip like that is not possible anymore.

Loving Words

Mom and I are sitting in the car as dad reads a sign just outside of the car. Mom is sitting in the back seat & I am in the driver's seat. She is looking out the window at dad and says,
"I don't know what I would do without that guy."

A long pause.
"He is getting kinda of old tho."

Another long pause and much feeling in her words.
"But I like him."

Her voice held all the love in the world for dad at that moment. It was precious and I hear her voice in my head whenever I think of that day.