Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Happy Birthday!

Today was dad's birthday, ok, well not quite today. I was busy with facebook and things so I didn't think about blogging until I am just about to head to bed. So, the 28th is pappy's birthday. He would have been 77. I couldn't help but wonder today what my life would be like right now if he was still alive. This is a man that would easily have lived to 100 and would never have looked like it, but that leukemia and diabetes ravaged a strong man's body. The man I rarely ever saw sick and who wouldn't take a sick day. He always just kept going. I miss him so much. It's so weird, because sometimes I forget what it was like to have that father figure around, feeling that fatherly love, feeling so safe, knowing that he would help take care of scary situations. I miss his smile, his laugh, his presence. He is always in my heart and I will never forget the joy of having him for my dad for so many wonderful years. So very thankful that he was my dad and that I got to love him for so much of his lifetime. There is nothing better. He was the man in my life. I miss that male companionship, that's kind of hard for me.
I slept in a little this morning, really didn't want to get up and do much, but I did. I feel pretty good. Took Bella out, took a little nap, got up and got breakfast ready for mom and I. Went back for a little nap. Got up, made phone calls to three places for mom to get information to help out with what we are trying to do for her. Called the nurse who is working with us to give her the info. I had just gotten. Filled up the bird feeder for those cute, hungry birds. Redid the driveway, well, at least the front of it, since the wonderful snowplow, plowed us back in. Then went to go see if I could find a pre-owned Wii, I got some money for Christmas, and even got a little money yesterday because I helped the neighbors across the street with their shoveling. I just felt bad since they only had shovels and there was lots of snow, so I brought the snow blower over and did the driveway for them and they insisted on giving me something. So, I figured, since I probably gained way too much weight over the holidays, it would be good to have the Wii to use to exercise with. Sadly this was the second Gamestop I went to and they didn't have anymore. Oh well, must not be what I am supposed to do with my money right now. Oh well. So, I went and "splurged" on the dvd Despicable Me. :) Mom and I had a little movie night tonight. We didn't finish the whole movie, but did watch about half of it. Before that, my cousin Dot called and we got the chance to talk to her for a little bit. She sounded good. She asked when we would be making a trip to Thomasville, I told her about mom's health and she was shocked that she wasn't doing that well. When I got off the phone, mom asked who it was, she said she couldn't place her. I kinda figured that much, pretty sad. It's been a tough Christmas break. She doesn't have a clue what the days are. She didn't realize it was Christmas, even after the whole day of celebrating it. We went to my aunt's house and she told my uncle that she didn't get anything for Christmas-even though she had opened up a coat, gloves, pj's, and slippers from me. Then she also got a robe from someone at her church. She didn't know who that person was and kept asking me who it was, then she kept saying it was some guy from her church. At first she was a little concerned as to why a guy would give her a robe, and asked me if he was trying to like her, but I told her that it was probably a woman. Then a day or so later, she says that it's from this man, but she knows him and his wife. So, finally I called my neighbor to ask her who this person was. It was a new lady that has been coming to the church. I was glad to finally get that figured out. She doesn't really remember her gifts at all, but we really did have a nice Christmas. Even though it's been a little stressful, it has been a good break.

Lord, let me not forget the reason for the season. Let me not miss the joy of mom's presence that I do still get to enjoy now. I hate to say it, but I'm not really looking forward to the new year, because I don't know what possible sadness I'll see. Help me not to focus on that, but on you and all the blessings you have given and know will give as we end 2010 and go into 2011. May I know you more, love you more, serve you more, and trust you more! Thank you for being my Heavenly Father! Give my pappy a big hug for me!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

What a day!

Yesterday was an interesting day. My morning is getting up, getting washed up, taking Bella out, telling mom she needs to get up and go to the bathroom so she doesn't wet the bed. I bring Bella back in and start to get ready for school. I figure out what I am going to wear, go get my breakfast and try to remember to check mom's plate to be sure she has her pills on it. Then have my cereal. I make sure Bella has food and water, make sure mom is set, make sure the leash is where mom can get to it from the door, get all my bags and things and head to school. Well, yesterday as I pulled into the parking lot Satan put the foolish thought in my mind: "What have you done that is so bad that you can't seem to catch a break?" I was thinking of all the things I have to do and was feeling so overwhelmed. I went in and started to get things ready for the morning. At restroom break, I went into the teacher's lounge, Mama Gallucci came in and asked me how mom was and how I was doing. I was able to talk to her for a while telling her about some of what was going on, all of the things that I need to get done-phone calls I needed to make, places I needed to go, papers I needed to find. She just let me talk and encouraged me so much. I was able to cry and share and let her know exactly what I was thinking and feeling. She understands because she had to deal with some of the same things with her mom. She also told me that she would be my mom when I needed one. That was such an encouragement to my heart!! I love and appreciate her so much! The part that was interesting was that it was so nice to finally be able to talk to someone and have them listen, not just for a few seconds, but for several minutes! But the next thing is that when I got back to my classroom and got my kids started with their work, I looked at my phone and Christina Kellogg sent me a text just letting me know that she was thinking of me and praying for me. The Lord laid me on her heart! What a blessing to get that extra little special blessing! Had a bit of a crazy time as I was teaching Arithmetic. One of my students said he wasn't good in Math, but I told him he needed to practice more. I did a couple of flashcards with him, but he wasn't able to get them quickly at all. Then we came to 66 divided by 6. He wasn't sure at all. I broke it down and asked him how many 6's are in 6 and then how many 6's are in the other 6. After a little thinking he figured it was one for each. When I asked him to put those two numbers together, he asked if he was supposed to add them or multiply them. I told him to just put the two numbers together side by side. I asked what the answer was and he said 12. We went through all the ways of breaking it down again and then asked for the answer, and once again he said 12. I finally put it on the board and he was able to see and understand the answer was 11. We had other issues in Bible class that maybe I'll tell about later, very interesting! Then later in the day, I had to call Amy Hunt to ask her something and she also asked me how my mom was doing and allowed me to share several things with her. It was just neat to see how the Lord sent the right people at the right time to encourage me. I hadn't even felt that down, but it was so amazing to me and I wonder what could have been the case if the Lord hadn't laid my mom and I on people's hearts. What a huge blessing!! God reminds me that He does care and watch over me even when I have trouble seeing it. He also reminded me that there are others who care as well! How thankful I am for my Heavenly Father and for all the wonderful, special saints He uses to encourage His child. God, thank you for loving me and showing me you care, especially in those moments when Satan wants to bring me down. Help me remember these moments whenever I get down!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

How quickly things change

I really need to start blogging again, especially with how things are going with mom. It is important for me to share my thoughts and feelings. A couple of months ago mom had an appointment at UCONN health center to see Dr. Greenspan to see how things were going with her memory. I asked what she thought it was. She said she did think mom was starting with Alzheimers. Though I knew this was probably the case, it was difficult to hear. It is hard to not have the mom I know here with me. It makes me a little sad and lonely sometimes. It is a difficult thing to deal with answering the same questions over and over and over again without feeling a little crazy. This has been an interesting week. I set up the Christmas decorations and she watched and enjoyed, but I have had to move the lighters and matches to my room. I came home Saturday night from a party to find lots of candles lit on the mantle. The problem was that some of the candles were just on the mantle and not in a candle holder. She lit some that were just on the mantle. The wax was all over the mantle and one of the candles had burned all the way down to the silver piece right against the mantle. I am so thankful I got home when I did. That's one of my struggles. I am afraid to leave her alone for too long. After I told her not to light the candles on the mantle, I come home the next day to find the taper candles on the table lit and the candles in the sconces. The taper candles made me nervous because we have never lit those and they were out in the open where anything could have happened. Thankfully it was ok. I told mom to just use the battery operated tealights that I have. As I was turning them on and off the other night, I noticed that one had a black tip, which means she also tried to light that. So therefore, my room gets more junk added to it, as I confiscated the lighters and matches from as many places as I could find them and hid them in here away from her. It's hard because no one is going through this same thing right now, so it's hard to talk about it because people don't understand. This blog is a bit sporadic and isn't exactly the way I would like to voice my thoughts as I have done in some of my earlier blogs, but I just need to start keeping track of things for myself and maybe for mom and for others that are helping us in this endeavor to keep mom home and healthy for as long as possible. Last year this time, there wasn't this much stress about these things. Things have changed so quickly and sometimes it is difficult to keep my poise. Sometimes mom acts like some of the kids I deal with all day long. Some people just quickly throw out the thought that now I know what it's like to have kids. I don't really like that thought, because this is so different from that. Not in all ways, but in many. You can discipline a child, I can't discipline my mom. The goal is to see a child's behavior improve, but in my case the goal is to try to keep her as stable as possible, but things don't improve, they are getting worse. I have to repeat things so much, I'm learning to deal with that, though some days because I have a class that seems to need that same treatment, it kind of wears me down. With children you could hide matches and things from them, but it's hard to hide them from mom and she wonders why they are not there. She often asks why she can't do some of the things I ask her not to do. She doesn't understand! It's hard to explain and hard to deal with. Things have been a little overwhelming, I know I need to just trust the Lord, it's easy to say, but it's another matter to put feet to those prayers. I just continue to ask God for help and guidance. I need you, Lord. Please help me to rest, nest, and be blessed in You and You alone. Things are too hard without you! Help me. Strengthen me! Guide me! I need you!