Memory Lane

I’ve been trying to get my dad on video telling his stories.

When mom passed away, one of the first things we did was look for videos of her. I thought I had one of her singing Happy Birthday, and one of her singing a song that she used to sing to Oldest when he was a baby. I can’t find the video anywhere and really wish I could.

Someone came up with the suggestion that we video Dad telling stories of his life. I like the idea. Especially when he tells stories of when he was young. He was a mean little thing growing up. I don’t see how his mom managed with all her boys and the mischief they got in to. There were 10 boys and 3 girls, she had to have had her hands full. I can imagine what trouble they caused, from the few stories I’ve heard.

I’m enjoying this walk down memory lane with dad.

Adventure time!

Today is day 8. 8 days without my mom.

I’m doing ok. As long as I don’t see the Archway Wedding Cookies on my counter. Those were her favorites and they only sell them this time of year.

This morning, youngest woke me up, letting me know that dad had fallen and he thought broke his leg.

That was at 4:30am.

By 8:00 am we were home with a temporary cast on his left leg, he did indeed break his ankle.

He has orders to not put any weight on that ankle at all. Have you ever tried to tell a elderly person with memory issues that they cannot do something?

I guess we are off on a new adventure!

Cheesy Appetizer Crackers.

This is another recipe I have been looking for years and years now.  I remember the only time I’ve ever tried them was about 10 years ago at a homeschooling mom’s meeting. It was snowy outside and I was new to the group. The mom hosting the meeting made these as the only snack and I think I may have ate half of them all by myself. Yeah, they are that good. I am so glad I discovered Chef In Training, I have posted so many of her recipes on my FB page, and really needed to put this one somewhere I would be able to find it.

Recipe courtesy of Chef In Training.

Ingredients
  • 4 oz. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ tsp. salt
Instructions
  1. Combine cheese, butter, flour and salt in a medium bowl. Mix thoroughly. Cover and chill dough for 1 hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  3. Shape dough into 1 inch balls. Place two inches apart from one another on cookie sheet. Flatten with tines of fork.
  4. Bake at 375 degrees F for 10-12 minutes or until edges are light golden brown.
  5. Cool slightly.
  6. Makes about 20 crackers.

It’s the little things.

I’m sitting here tonight waiting with toothpicks holding my eyelids up, to see if my dad is going to wake up again.  He is having a horrible time sleeping and when he gets up he is so disoriented that he gets lost in the house, thinks he needs to build a fire, and tries to go outside to the bathroom.

Its really important that someone stay up at night to keep an eye on him. Otherwise there is no telling what might happen.

He has been quiet today.

He has been more lucid than normal today.

He has been feeling, hurting, knowing today.

We talked briefly about mom, until he told me that when he hears someone say “mama” it hurts his heart.

Today is one week.

Mom has been gone for one week.

I was cleaning out my closet tonight and ran upon her Christmas present. I had already bought it, stuck it in the closet, and forgot about it with all that was going on.

I’m not sure what I’m going to do with it.

I just know right now I can’t look at it.

I know it was meant for her.

I know she will never know it was meant for her.

I bought her favorite cookies yesterday. All of us just keep staring at the package like we are terrified something will happen if we actually open the package.

Its funny how little things like that can send you over the edge.

I tried my best!

Dad is having a tough time trying to figure out what’s what and where mom is.

We were talking the other day about mom’s last couple of days when she wasn’t able to talk anymore.

Dad: I tried and tried to get her to talk to me, I even went in and pushed on her titties a while to get a reaction and she didn’t do anything at all!

Now, if you knew my dad, you would know that language like that does not fly with him. It was all I could do to keep from busting out laughing. To him, that was the best way to get her to talk to him. After all, getting fussed at is better than no response at all.

Her.

Yesterday was mom’s memorial service. We had her cremated. Originally it was because the cost of a funeral and burial is outrageously expensive and we just couldn’t afford it. But now, I am so glad we did.

Mom was terrified of being alone, she hated storms and cold. I don’t think I could have watched them put her in the cold ground, throw dirt on her casket and walk away. There is no way.

Now, right this second she is sitting on my kitchen table.

I can talk to her. I can hold her. I can just sit and be with her.

As I mentioned before, I was with her when she passed. It was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen in my life.

She had a horrible last few days, especially the last 24 hours. She had the “death rattle” as they call it, and had begun having seizures. Those were horrendous to watch. I don’t believe she was cognizant of what was happening when she had them. Her eyes were blank, they didn’t focus. So I hope she wasn’t aware.

My niece and I were sitting in the room with her, and I had just thought about going to bed, I was exhausted since I had been sitting up nights and most of the day with her for almost a week. Getting only a couple hours of sleep a day. But for some reason I didn’t. I wanted to stay there with mom.

We heard her scratching her fingers on the bed and my niece saw that mom’s eyes were open. We thought she was about to seize again. I was getting ready to get the medicine ready, and my niece, who is a nurse, told me she was leaving us.

I was already holding mom’s hand, but  leaned down and told her I loved her, kissed her forehead and told her I was there, she wasn’t alone, and it was ok.  Mom’s breathing eased for the first time in days. Her color in her face brightened, the expression on her face changed from one of misery to one of peace. Then she took two perfectly peaceful breathes and was gone.

I cried. I couldn’t help it. My mom was gone, but at that moment I knew she was the happiest she had been in years.

She was whole. She was able to walk again. She could talk, hear, see, and play the piano again.

I know she was greeted on the other side by her mom, sisters, grandson and great grandsons. Not to mention many many friends who have gone on before her.

At her memorial last night, we celebrated her life. Her love of laughter. She lived life to the fullest and expected those around her to do the same.

We celebrated that.

We celebrated her.