Friday, October 31, 2008
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Hubby and his buddys moved all the big stuff; God bless 'em. I'm in charge of the rest of the stuff. So today mid afternoon I leave Hubby and the bebes at the new house and venture to the old house to continue packing and cleaning, sorting and trashing. I'm driving Hubby's truck and need to back it up the gravel driveway, which means switching from 2wheel drive to 4wheel drive. No biggie, and I back up as close as I can to the steps and trees, without running into them. Well, you see, I might have just over-accelerated a tad bit, it was a love tap really.
I then spend 4+ hours cleaning out 2 bedrooms, a laundry room, living room and half the kitchen. I am so proud of myself. I have a pile to throw away, a pile for Good Will, and I fit a lot of stuff in the truck. Yay me! I go to close the tail gate of the truck. No go. I try again, harder, CLANG! This is its way of telling me, "DENIED!" Awww shoot. The tail gate clearly isn't about to close because it's off about a 1/2 inch and won't latch. I can't drive to the new house with the bed of the truck full and the tail gate not closed.
So I call Hubby and I say, "Hey, want to call Justin for me" (he lives right around the corner) "and see if he can come up and help me close the tailgate?" I would have done this myself but I don't have his number because I lost my cell phone, and it's a little ways down the road. I tell Hubby (while crossing my fingers) that maybe there's too much stuff so it won't close, but I don't want to undo the packing if it just needs a little muscle. I'm thinking here I can tell Justin what really happened and he can help me. Again, no go. Hubby says, "I'll be right down."
Hubby tells me I must have hit something. Hmmm, interesting. I nod, and try to look a little shocked. Then he turns around and points to the tree and the very large dent in the tree at EXACTLY the same height and width of the tail gate. Crap. I'm caught.
"See. You hit the tree, did you even feel that?"
And I say, "Is that what that was?"
Oh he loves me. I know he loves me because he just shook his head and rolled his eyes and walked into the house to get his tools. Nothing more. Nothing less. Can't wait to have all this moving stuff be over with though.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
It may be a few days until we get the computer all hooked up and working. So- until then, I probably won't be able to blog. Now I'm off to find a clean set of clothes for each of us tomorrow, my tooth brush, purse, shoes, milk, cereal, diapers for the baby, paper plates and my cell phone charger...that should tide me over til I can come back tomorrow...
Monday, October 20, 2008
Here's the last family pic (sans hubby, away in the Marines at the time.) This is where the countdown really started. You can see it in her face.
And here is the last picture of Mama. Me, Chris, Mama at her retirement celebration. Exactly one month before she died. That was one of the hardest days I've even endured. Then we knew it was only a matter of days. And here was this celebration for Mama, where the teachers and school administrators and friends got up to speak and tell how Mama had changed their lives. It was like a living funeral. Very uncomfortable and awkward, but so so necessary.
It seems like life goes on for everybody. There's something humbling about that, but only when I'm in a good space to reflect on it like that. The rest of the time I feel like everyone else has a life that is continuing, and here I am still trying to put back all the pieces of the past.
Sad but true. This is my lament.
Good night sweet Mama. Don't give up on me yet.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Dad graduated from St. Joseph's in 1960. After a year or so at Cal-Berkley he realized he needed to be doing something else. He enlisted in the Navy. There he graduated top of his class and got first pick of specialties. He became a radioman on the USS Nathaniel Greene, one of the first nuclear submarines.
Back in San Rafael Mama became friends with a fellow student named Judith. They were fast friends. Soon Jude was telling Mama about Jude's brother who was away on a submarine in the Navy and could really use a new pen pal. Mama obliged, and there starts the fairy tale...
They were married on October 18th, 1969 in Washington D.C. That was 39 years ago today.
Dad went back to school and followed his new found interest of physics and chemistry. Mama became a teacher. (At one point Mama took a chem class from Dad at UCSC. He told her she had to follow the same rules as the rest of the students: help can only be given during class time and office hours. Though cuddling at night would still be appreciated.)
They bought their first and only home in 1978. They paid $42K for it and didn't know how they were going to make ends meet. But they did. They always pulled it together. Dad worked for AT+T teaching physics, and mom taught at the local high school. They were good together.
When I was in 6th grade Dad was laid off from his job though. He was devastated. Mama took up the slack while dad took a year or so deal with new depression. Just as Dad started getting a handle on things again, Mama was getting tired. More than the usual. And her ankles were swollen. She wasn't worried about it, just bothered that her ankles looked chubby. She eventually saw a doctor and mentioned it. A simple urine test confirmed that her urine protein was through the roof, indicating her kidneys were damaged, thus causing her ankles to swell with the fluid the kidneys weren't able to clean out. They eventually learned that the Amyloidosis had attacked her kidneys, and would slowly move to the rest of her organs.
Dad always felt bad about not getting another job right away. I thank God that Dad took the time he needed, because his biggest and most important job was just about to surface: taking care of Mama. And he did. There was such little known information about Mama's disease. He didn't want to waste any of Mama's precious time. So they went to the Mayo clinic--to the very best for a confirmed diagnosis. From there, a referral back to Stanford would start them on their path. Dad did research day and night. Reading the most recent medical journals, the very latest, cutting edge treatments and findings. He'd report back to the doctors and THEY'D ask HIM what the next step should be. And Dad would tell them.
Mama trusted Dad completely. There were many times when Mama didn't want to know what was going on. She couldn't handle any more. So she'd go in for the lab work and tests, and then sit in the waiting room while Dad and the doctors talked in the exam room, carefully crafting the next step.
I am so moved by the love they had for each other. Dad without a clue how to cure his wife, but a love and dedication that rose to the top. And Mama, scared to death, but trusting her husband to take care of her and her life's fate completely. When she couldn't hear any more of the results, she would turn it over to him. She knew he would make the very best decisions. I love love love that I was blessed into this family, and am a product of this love.
By October 2006 Mama was at home and fading fast. I absolutely believe she held on long enough to NOT DIE on her wedding anniversary. Although she wasn't eating any more by then, I still made them a nice anniversary dinner. She was roused long enough to acknowledge what day it was, and smiled. She made it through the 18th, and 25 hours later she was gone.
This is the kind of love that fairy tales should be made of. Not heroic or flashy. Just humble and modest and honest.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
And soon we will be in OUR OWN home, and I will do my best to infuse peace, love and gentleness into our new household and music too.. Music is a constant ever changing, every beautiful, ever soothing element in my life. Be it Worship Team practice, singing, playing the piano, radio, live music, anything with a tune...and I'm happy. Our home will now have room for the family piano, originally brought to California in the late 1800's by horse and wagon when my Great Grandmother Vonnie was a child. Music fills a void in my life. Music takes me to a better place.
This coming week poses an entirely new set of challenges. And at the same time I will be re-living many things this week as well...and so I will pray, pray, pray and surround myself with an abundance of music...cause I haven't got a clue what else to do to keep me on this side of sanity.
Monday, October 13, 2008
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Little Bitty Bebe turned a big n' mighty ONE year's old today. Oh my goodness. It honestly seems like yesterday that I was in labor with her. Wow wow wow. Not to be so cliche. But time REALLY does fly. Why in the world do I try to rush through ANYTHING when things go by so quickly already as it is...
Thank God for Grandmas. =)
Saturday, October 4, 2008
Our graduating class has:
1 medical social worker
1 civil engineer
1 professional dancer
1 Para jumper with special forces in the Air Force
1 career fire fighter
1 Financial Services Supervisor
1 Legislative advocate
1 Army soldier
2 stay at home moms
1 PR for Big Brothers Big Sisters
1 Moody Bible Institute student
2 Physical therapists
2 hair stylists
1 professional car mechanic on TV
1 Horse Shoe-er <-- I know there's a real name for that but don't remember what it is
.....and the list goes on.....
I don't think it ever crossed my mind that we would all end up growing up and making something of our lives that was more than the pettiness of high school. I'm so pleased to say that we have. WE HAVE collectively as a group forged a bond that only we know. That is a beautiful beautiful thing to have, and to have experienced today.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
- My parents were each carried for 10 months in their mama's wombs. I told them that's why they got along so well...cause they were both freaks of nature...Hahahahaha I always found this super funny and dad did too--but mom-not so much.
- I was named after a dead nun.
- Got scarlet fever as a child and almost kicked the bucket. Mama Hen was my saving grace even back then
- Spent several months in a condo in Hawaii before I went to kindergarten, here: http://www.liliuokalanigardens.com/
- I am ambidextrous and dyslexic
- Most of my second grade year mom and I got to stay with dad here:http://www.passionasia.com/south-korea/busan/commodore.html
- My mom taught College Writing, English Lit, Journalism, and French at my High School. I thought I'd hate it (having her so close by). But I loved every second of it.
- In High School I was an avid soccer player
- In High School I also was very involved with this: http://www.every15minutes.com/enter/enter.html Less than 2 months later, my partner from this, along with 3 other people died in a devastating fiery car crash July 4th 2007
- Hubby and I met as cadets at the local fire department
- Our wedding was just a few elements short of getting eloped...here: I always thought it would be more like this:
- Both of Hubby's parents are adopted
- Each of my big girl's best friends are adopted
- I don't want to bear any more children, but love the idea of adopting
- My grandpa and great uncle were heavily involved in the Manhattan project. Mom was born in Oakridge, TN
- My great aunt was kinda famous too: http://www.answers.com/topic/hillary-brooke She had a poodle named Dulcie. When that one would die, she'd get another one that looked exactly the same and name it Dulcie. Again and again....
- And our family likes our food: http://www.girardsdressings.com/online-store/scstore/sitepages/aboutus.html
- My big kids went to the same pre-school I did, and are currently going to the same elementary school I did
- I thoroughly enjoy retail therapy....and my checkbook does not
- I grew up in the same house my entire childhood. We've moved on average once a year since Big bebe was born. I hope that comes to halt real quick like
- Certain smells can bring me right back to an old memory, same with certain songs
- My parents would have celebrated their 39th wedding anniversary this October 18th.
- I'm going to my 10th High School reunion this Saturday and I'm scared to death
- This is the most handsome fellow I know
- My mom died of this and was diagnosed here :http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/amyloidosis/DS00431
- Big bebe has this: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/dystonia/DS00684
- I don't have any siblings. So I celebrated my cabbage patch doll's birthdays instead growing up. Her name is Sarah Marie and her birthday is today!
- My mom secretly got me a cat against my dad's wishes when I turned 12. Dad hated that cat. After mom died, that cat was the only one in the house to keep dad company.
- I am officially going here for my Christmas vacation, to help continue to clean up from this:
- There is much to do