Now it is my turn, my pleasure and my commitment to be there for her and with her, whatever it takes.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Church Funnies

I was at the funeral of my dearest friend,­ my mother. She finally had lost her long battle with cancer. The hurt was so intense; I found it hard to breathe at times. Always supportive, Mother clapped loudest at my school plays, held the box of tissues while listening to my first heartbreak, comforted me at my father's death, encouraged me in College, and prayed for me my entire life.

When mother's illness was diagnosed, my sister had a new baby and my brother had recently married his childhood sweetheart, so it fell on me, the 27-year-old middle child without entanglements, to take care of her. I counted it an honor.

'What now, Lord?' I asked sitting in church. My life stretched out before me as an empty abyss. My brother sat stoically with his face toward the cross while clutching his wife's hand. My sister sat slumped against her husband's shoulder, his arms around her as she cradled their child. All so deeply grieving, no one noticed I sat alone.

My place had been with our mother, preparing her meals, helping her walk, taking her to the doctor, seeing to her medication, reading the Bible together. Now she was with the Lord...My work was finished, and I was alone. I heard a door open and slam shut at the back of the church. Quick footsteps hurried along the carpeted floor. An exasperated young man looked around briefly and then sat next to me. He folded his hands and placed them on his lap. His eyes were brimming with tears. He began to sniffle.

"I'm late," he explained, though no explanation was necessary.

After several eulogies, he leaned over and commented, "Why do they keep calling Mary by the name of Margaret?''

"Because, that was her name, Margaret. Never Mary, no one called her Mary,'" I whispered.

I wondered why this person couldn't have sat on the other side of the church. He interrupted my grieving with his tears and fidgeting. Who was this stranger anyway?

"Isn't this the Lutheran church?"

"No, the Lutheran church is across the street."


"I believe you're at the wrong funeral, Sir."

The solemness of the occasion mixed with the realization of the man's mistake bubbled up inside me and came out as laughter. I cupped my hands over my face, hoping it would be interpreted as sobs. The creaking pew gave me away. Sharp looks from other mourners only made the situation seem more hilarious. I peeked at the bewildered, misguided man seated beside me. He was laughing too, as he glanced around, deciding it was too late for an uneventful exit. I imagined Mother laughing.

At the final 'Amen,' we darted out a door and into the parking lot. "I do believe we'll be the talk of the town," he smiled.

He said his name was Rick and, since he had missed his aunt's funeral, asked me out for a cup of coffee. That afternoon began a lifelong journey for me with this man who attended the wrong funeral, but was in the right place. A year after our meeting, we were married at a country church where he was the assistant pastor. This time we both arrived at the same church, right on time.

In my time of sorrow, God gave me laughter. In place of loneliness, God gave me love. This past June, we celebrated our twenty-second wedding anniversary. Whenever anyone asks us how we met, Rick tells them, 'Her mother and my Aunt Mary introduced us, and it's truly a match made in heaven.'

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Missing Parents

4 months since mom passed and 2 years and 4 months since dad passed and I haven't gotten used to the fact that my parents are gone.

I miss the way that Mom was a very GOD loving person.  Always faithful and loving to all.
I miss the way my Dad was always doing things his way.

I remember the joys, I remember the pain.
And I’m loving and living life over again.
I think of the years, all too few, gone too fast.
And accept the stark fact that nothing can last.
So open your eyes, people. Enjoy them while they are here.

Cranky Old Man

When an old man died in the geriatric ward of a nursing home in an Australian country town, it was believed that he had nothing left of any value.

Later, when the nurses were going through his meagre possessions, They found this poem. Its quality and content so impressed the staff that copies were made and distributed to every nurse in the hospital.

One nurse took her copy to Melbourne. The old man’s sole bequest to posterity has since appeared in the Christmas editions of magazines around the country and appearing in mags for Mental Health. A slide presentation has also been made based on his simple, but eloquent, poem.

And this old man, with nothing left to give to the world, is now the author of this ‘anonymous’ poem winging across the Internet.

Cranky Old Man

What do you see nurses? What do you see?
What are you thinking when you’re looking at me?
A cranky old man, not very wise,
Uncertain of habit, with faraway eyes?
Who dribbles his food and makes no reply.
When you say in a loud voice, ‘I do wish you’d try!’
Who seems not to notice the things that you do.
And forever is losing a sock or shoe?
Who, resisting or not, lets you do as you will,
With bathing and feeding, the long day to fill?
Is that what you’re thinking? Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes, nurse. You’re not looking at me.
I’ll tell you who I am as I sit here so still,
As I do at your bidding, as I eat at your will.
I’m a small child of ten, with a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters who love one another
A young boy of sixteen with wings on his feet
Dreaming that soon now a lover he’ll meet.
A groom soon at twenty my heart gives a leap.
Remembering, the vows that I promised to keep.
At twenty-five, now I have young of my own.
Who need me to guide and a secure happy home.
A man of thirty, my young now grown fast,
Bound to each other with ties that should last.
At forty, my young sons have grown and are gone,
But my woman is beside me to see I don’t mourn.
At fifty, once more, babies play ‘round my knee,
Again, we know children, my loved one and me.
Dark days are upon me. My wife is now dead.
I look at the future. I shudder with dread.
For my young are all rearing young of their own.
And I think of the years, and the love that I’ve known.
I’m now an old man and nature is cruel.
It’s jest to make old age look like a fool.
The body, it crumbles. Grace and vigour, depart.
There is now a stone where I once had a heart.
But inside this old carcass, A young man still dwells,
And now and again my battered heart swells.
I remember the joys, I remember the pain.
And I’m loving and living life over again.
I think of the years, all too few, gone too fast.
And accept the stark fact that nothing can last.
So open your eyes, people. Open and see.
Not a cranky old man.
Look closer .. See.. Me

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

I still miss my mom!

It's been 2 months and 12 days.

Seems like it has been an eternity since I was with my mom.

Time passes and I miss her as much today as I did the moment she died.

I have memories, but I would love to make new memories, but that time has past.

Having both parents gone, is a very lonely life.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Jodean's Niece

We just returned from Austin a couple of days ago and I went to the funeral home website and watched the video of Jodean's service.  It was wonderful to watch and listen to Bengi and KatI Beth speak.  They reminded me of so many things I'd forgotten about Jodean.  I just enjoyed watching it, almost like I was there.  I left a condolence of a memory or two that came to mind after reading Kimi's stories on the website.

Hope you are okay,


Thursday, March 28, 2013

Jodean's Funeral

We had her funeral on Thursday March 28th.  It was a beautiful ceremony and it can be viewed at the bottom of her obituary:
Mom's funeral

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Jodean Passed

On Sunday morning March 24th I called Tim and told him he need to get to mom's bedside.  Tim's whole family came to say good-bye.

At 7:05 pm with Kati and I at her side, my Mom Mother and Friend passed from this world.

We were holding her hands and playing hymns when her nurse "Grace" walked in and got goose bumps.  She stayed with us and was a sweet person.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Hospice for Mom

Wednesday 20th of March the Director of the Nursing home, approached me about putting mom on Hospice.

I had called the "Hospice - Circle of Love" on March 6th and they told me that she didn't qualify.  I asked if they had the reports on her renal failure from Dr. VJ.  I would have to sign a release to get the files sent to "Circle of Love".  I was getting up and the Director of Nurses came in the room and asked about Hospice and what was holding them up.  I told her my story.  She asked if I cared, I said NO and she said that Ross Health Care was very good about the pain management and the doctor had already approved mom.  So I said lets call them.  They were there within an hour to sign papers.   Shortly after signing, mom got a new bed with air mattress for bed sores.

The nurses have been up everyday.  Sometimes twice.  They have my mom now out of pain.  It is very painful to watch your mom.

Signs of Approaching Death

Hospice Patients Alliance - Signs of Approaching Death

When confronted with approaching death, many of us wonder when
exactly will death occur. Many of us ask the question, "How
much time is left?" This can often be a difficult question
to answer. The dying do not always cooperate with the predictions
of the doctors, nurses or others who tell family members or
patients how much time is left.

Hospice staff have frequently observed that even the
predictions by physicians about the length of time from the
original diagnosis till death is often inaccurate. Many families
report that "the doctor told us he [the patient] only had so
much time left, and he's lived much longer than that."
... or a similar story. Statistical averages do not tell us
exactly how long a particular patient has to live; they can only
serve as a general guideline or point of reference.

Although statistical averages do not help much in an
individual case, there are specific signs of approaching death
which may be observed, and which do indicate that death is
approaching nearer. Each individual patient is different. Not all
individuals will show all of these signs, nor are all of the
signs of approaching death always present in every case.

Depending on the type of terminal illness and the metabolic
condition of the patient, different signs and symptoms arise. An
experienced physician or hospice nurse can often explain these
signs and symptoms to you. If you have questions about changes in
your loved one's condition, ask your hospice nurse for an
explanation, that is one of the reasons she is serving you.

There are two phases which arise prior to the actual
time of death: the "pre-active phase of dying," and the
"active phase of dying." On average, the preactive
phase of dying may last approximately two weeks, while on
average, the active phase of dying lasts about three

We say "on average" because there are
<strong>often</strong> exceptions to the rule. Some patients have
exhibited signs of the preactive phase of dying for a month or
longer, while some patients exhibit signs of the active phase of
dying for two weeks. Many hospice staff have been fooled into
thinking that death was about to occur, when the patient had
unusually low blood pressure or longer periods of pausing in the
breathing rhythym. However, some patients with these symptoms can
suddenly recover and live a week, a month or even longer. Low
blood pressure alone or long periods of pausing in the breathing
(apnea) are not reliable indicators of imminent death in all
cases. God alone knows for sure when death will occur.
Signs of the preactive phase of dying:

# increased restlessness, confusion, agitation, inability to stay content in one position and insisting on changing positions frequently (exhausting family and caregivers)
# withdrawal from active participation in social activities

# increased periods of sleep, lethargy

# decreased intake of food and liquids

# beginning to show periods of pausing in the breathing (apnea) whether awake or sleeping

# patient reports seeing persons who had already died

# patient states that he or she is dying

# patient requests family visit to settle unfinished business and tie up loose ends

# inability to heal or recover from wounds or infections

# increased swelling (edema) of either the extremities or the entire body

Signs of the Active Phase of Dying

# inability to arouse patient at all (coma) or, ability to only arouse patient with great effort but patient quickly returns to severely unresponsive state (semi-coma)

# severe agitation in patient, hallucinations, acting crazy and not in patient's normal manner or personality

# much longer periods of pausing in the breathing (apnea)

# dramatic changes in the breathing pattern including apnea, but also including very rapid breathing or cyclic changes in the patterns of breathing (such as slow progressing to very fast and then slow again, or shallow progressing to very deep breathing while also changing rate of breathing to very fast and then slow)

# other very abnormal breathing patterns

# severely increased respiratory congestion or fluid buildup in lungs

# inability to swallow any fluids at all (not taking any food by mouth voluntarily as well)

# patient states that he or she is going to die

# patient breathing through wide open mouth continuously and no longer can speak even if awake

# urinary or bowel incontinence in a patient who was not incontinent before

# marked decrease in urine output and darkening color of urine or very abnormal colors (such as red or brown)

# blood pressure dropping dramatically from patient's normal blood pressure range (more than a 20 or 30 point drop)

# systolic blood pressure below 70, diastolic blood pressure below 50

# patient's extremities (such as hands, arms, feet and legs) feel very cold to touch

# patient complains that his or her legs/feet are numb and cannot be felt at all

# cyanosis, or a bluish or purple coloring to the patients arms and legs, especially the feet and hands)

# patient's body is held in rigid unchanging position

# jaw drop; the patient's jaw is no longer held straight and may drop to the side their head is lying towards

Although all patients do not show all of these signs, many of these signs will be seen in some patients. The reason for the tradition of &quot;keeping a vigil&quot; when someone is dying is that we really don't know exactly when death will occur until it is obviously happening. If you wish to &quot;be there&quot;
with your loved one when death occurs, keeping a vigil at the bedside is part of the process.

Always remember that your loved one can often hear you even up till the very end, even though he or she cannot respond by speaking. Your loving presence at the bedside can be a great expression of your love for your loved one and help him to feel calmer and more at peace at the time of death.

If you have questions about any of the changing signs or symptoms appearing in your loved one, ask your hospice nurse to explain them to you.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Mom @ Bass February 2013

Mom @ Bass 2/2013
She was coughing when I took her to get her nails done on Wednesday.  2/6/13. Then Sunday 2/10/13. I tried to get her in car to go to church and she was too weak to stand up so she didn't go. After church I went back and sit with her while she slept. Coughing but not all the time.  Asleep she didn't cough .

Monday I sit with her all day. She slept all day - I knew she didn't drink or eat anything so Kelli and I talked about it  AM monday dr Singh came in and ordered antibiotics and a chest X-ray  I went to Pilates then home. 

Oh ya Kelli did give her a breathing treatment at GOV but she wasn't responding that's why she called at dr said to take her to ER

I kept telling them that "She hadn't had enough to drink"  then they start antibiotics   In ER I demanded an urine check. They also did fly and strep test

Kelli called Tuesday morning and asked if I wanted to take her... So I just meet ambulance at hospital

Doing xRay's and blood work. ER doctor said it sounded like sever bronchitis.  The only thing I saw her drink yesterday was 1/2 glass of lemonade so I told them to take a urine test and check for dehydration. 

Going to keep her. Fluid on lungs but dr asking a lot about her heart. BP 111/74. 

Kidney, heart and lungs. We don't know if she is going to ICU or 3rd floor

Bengi:Kidney heart and lungs what?

Fluid on outside of lungs is causing the heart problems. I still say that the NO fluid intake is causing her kidneys to shut down

Going to IMC unit a step down from ICU. Intermediate medical care  room 217

She's really sick. But she should be OK. She's in a good place. Still eating
Nurses: Jaree n Erin / Hannah (night)
Mickie / dr Bushnell / dr Shaw heart dr

Not a lot of difference. Hemoglobin went down. 10 to 8 Don't really know what that means. They are giving her fluids and none coming out  they are still not saying pneumonia. Fluid around heart and kidney failure 
Nurses: Jaree n Erin / Jennifer (night) Aide: Debbie
JoElla / Mickie / Bengi / jake / josh / Jenni / Tim 
dr Bushnell / dr Shaw heart dr

I had to sign a consent to give her 2 units of blood to build up her volume. 
Hemoglobin is 8.3. Going to give her blood

Was going to give mom a blood transfusion, then i remembered her bad reaction 9/3/11.  Holding off on blood transfusion. They are taking her down to get lung xRay to see if there is a blood clot

Holding off on blood transfusion. They are taking her down to get lung xRay to see if there is a blood clot

Mom was a pill last night till about 12:30 Pulled out 2 IV's, kept taking off oxygen, couldn't go to sleep. Very anxious,  crying.  Same this AM. Dr Bushnell was just in. Kidneys have peaked, it's a fine line fluids going in and fluids going to her lungs and fluids coming out. He said it was going to be slow process and depends on her progress a couple more days in hospital then she will have to go to skilled nursing

Update. She has had a good day. Produced more Urine. Been awake most of day. Still going to do blood transfusion in AM. Waiting for O neg blood from OKC

Nurse said her lungs sound better tonight. It's first time we seen a nurse since 6. She said that as soon as the blood gets here they will give her the blood. If its 3 AM then they will start then. 
Nurses: Elizabeth/ Jennifer (night) Aide: Debbie
JoElla / Mickie 
dr Bushnall / dr Shaw heart dr

Mom pulled out her IV again, took out her oxygen and the red light on her finger that tracks her oxygen. Started blood at 3 AM. Gave her Benadril  and Tylenol. Then Lasix. Dr just came said her lungs were still noisy. Noisier then he would like them. Dr said he looked back at the records from 2011 and her kidneys were worse then  but this time we have lungs on top of the kidneys. I asked about the profusion chest X-ray he said he would have to get back because he hasn't look at the report.  She is wheezing and gurgling.  She just asked me if she had to get up. I told her no

Nurse said she had course air exchange but much better. Now who do you Beleive 

Kimi: I don't believe either.  You can measure her lung function by her O2 saturation (red light on finger), how much oxygen she needs, how frequent she needs breathing treatments...

The lung X-Ray's came back "Low Probabiity" .  I thinking that's good. 
Kimi: Yes, that's great

She got a bath and blood pressure is 191/80
Nurses: Elizabeth Jennifer training/  (night) Aide: Shaudae
dr Bushnall / 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Mom's wheel chair

Mom's foot rest of her wheel chair always laid on the bottom shelf where her TV was.
So on Sunday we went in to go to church.  They were gone.  We looked for 6 days.  After they were found, I decided to fix them that no one would question who's these foot rest were.

I think it worked, we haven't lost them since.