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My Great Gramma

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

many of us are going through losing our loved ones, and watching them slowly fade away from us. These are really mixed up times for us.

On one hand, we want our loved ones to stay here forever with us, and be healthy and strong the way they used to be.

On the other hand, we want them to be able to go quickly so they are not suffering and our own sense of powerlessness will end.

Neither place deserves any kind of blame whatsoever, not does guilt have a place in this.

We are in these positions…………..most of the time both places at once, and that is because we LOVE.

Let me tell you a little story abut my Great Gramma. And GREAT she was!!

When I was a little kid, I mainly lived with Great Gramma. She lived across the street from a zoo, and had a two story house. Gramma had a huge garden, and grew lots of veggies with flowers around the garden border, all of which she tended herself.

Oh, did I remember to tell you Gramma was over 100 years old when I was born?

I had the distinct blessing of living with that dear woman until I was nearly six years old.

A typical day for living with Gramma consisted of harvesting the veggies that Gramma said "Oh, THIS one will never do for the table!", although there was absolutely no blemish or signs of spoilage on that particular fruit of veggie, and into the big wheelbarrow. Once the wheel barrow was full, Gramma and I would push it across the street to the zoo and feed "those poor caged animals". We would make sure our house was cleaned, meals of mostly veggies and fruit were eaten, prayers were said after reading out of the Bible, studying must be done on reading and writing, and embroidery practice to be had.. These were full days, full of activity and purpose.

Gramma raised me with this saying: "One of these days, I am going to LEAVE this ole wreck of a carcass, and I am going to DANCE with Jesus!".

There came the day Gramma was 106 years old. I remember us making cupcakes as a celebration for that day.

One day Gramma got up, got out the step ladder and cake wax and cloths, and she climbed that ladder and hand waxed all of the cornices in the house, both upstairs and down. Then she got back up that ladder, and hand polished it all.

We made sugar cookies that day, then did our zoo trip. I went outside to play after that, and the neighborhood kids teased me because I didn't know how to jump "Red Hot Peppers". I cried to Gramma, and outside she came, grabbed the mailman and had him hold one end of the clothesline rope she held in her hand. Then she had ME hold the other end. Gramma jumped into that swirling rope, and counting at the top of her lungs, she did 100 Red Hot Peppers.

Yes, Dear Reader, Gramma was 106 and did these things.

After my jump rope lesson, we went in, had lunch and sugar cookies, and Gramma picked up her Bible, sat in her rocker while I sat in my smaller chair and began my embroidery lesson while she read the story of Daniel in the Lion's den.

As was the practice, after the reading, we discussed what the story was telling us. I interpreted it as "never go into a lion cage if the lion is hungry."

Gramma corrected me and said that the lion's den was really all the nasty behaviors we do, like being selfish and mean and cruel and arguing with others. She said God takes us away from all those things, and we should never go back to them again. She told me the story was all about "when Daniel got out of the lion's den, he never went back for his hat", and did those nasty things again.

Then Gramma pulled her quilt up to her chest, and per usual, closed her eyes and took her nap.

the next morning my mother came to visit us, and she asked where Gramma was when it was I who answered the door.

I stood tall and said "Oh, Gramma left her ole wreck of a carcass and went to dance with Jesus!". I was happy for Gramma, and knew she would watch over me all my life.

Those formative years have held me up thousands upon thousands times over the years.

When faced with difficulty, I can sit and stew and do nothing other than strengthen my self pity, or I can get up and do something useful. I

f I can't walk, I can mend. If I can't drive, I can call friends.

If I am lonely, I can invite a friend over and have a good chat.

If I am depressed, i can listen to invigorating music.

I can dance. Maybe not always with my full body, but I can move my arms when my feet won't move.

I can sing even if I am lying down.

I can make a written gratitude list, starting with "I can write".

I can smile.

Yes, one of these days, I, too, will leave this ole wreck of a carcass and go dancing.

But until THEN, I choose joyous living, appreciating those who have entered and crossed my life, the gifts they gave,and the joy that I have something to pass on to others.

Today I have my loved ones. Perhaps not the way I used to have them, but the memories stay the same, and the warmth of those memories heals my heart.

today is the PRESENT. Open it slowly, carefully, and with joy. Just for TODAY, I can allow others to do their dancing.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOVEXAVIE 7/10/2014 4:02PM

  BERRY4 referenced your post in the Motivational message boards. What a great story and an amazing lady your Gramma was!
Thank you for sharing.

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BERRY4 7/9/2014 12:34AM

    Definitely needed to read this today! -- Thanks for perspective, as well as the opportunity to remember my great aunt who lived until age 94. I miss those people who knew the things that really mattered!
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BMCOLLEY 7/9/2014 12:25AM

    I have to say this blog was somewhat sad. But, in the best way possible you were given the gifts of life--which makes it a happy blot. Your Gramma was a very special person and your were blessed for being raised by her.

Bettie

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MSHEL7 7/8/2014 1:34PM

    Sounds like a very special lady indeed, you are following right along in her footsteps. Have a most wonderful day and feel better soon.

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Errands and Alzheimer's

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

today DH had a doctor appointment. So we get in the car, and he asks

WHERE ARE WE GOING?

"to your endocrinologist".

I DON'T HAVE AN ENCROCLINIC.

"It's not endroclinic. It is endocrinologist, and he is going to check you for Diabetes 3".

DOES HE HAVE IT? AM I SUPPOSED TO FIX IT?

"No, he is going to see if you have it"

WHY DOES HE WANT TO KNOW?

"Because I asked him to check you out."

SHOULDN'T WE TURN RIGHT HERE?

"In about another mile".

I ALWAYS TURN RIGHT HERE.

(no response)

YOU ARE GOING TOO FAST.

"I am going the speed limit."

WHERE ARE WE GOING?

To the endocrinologist"

WHY? I DON'T LIKE HIM.

"You have never met him."

DOES HE LIKE BLUEBERRIES? I SHOULD TAKE HIM SOME BLUEBERRIES.

"I don't know if he likes blueberries. We don't have any blueberries."

YOU'RE DRIVING TOO SLOW.

"I'm driving the speed limit".

SHOULDN'T WE TURN RIGHT HERE?

"No, not for a couple more miles, and then we turn left".

WHY ARE WE GOING THERE?

"to see your new doctor".

I LIKE DR. CURT, AND DON'T WANT A DIFFERENT DOCTOR

"This doctor is a specialist that Curt wants you to see".

OH. WILL CURT BE THERE?

"No, he is in his own office.

THIS IS NOT THE RIGHT WAY TO CURT'S OFFICE.

"It is a new way".

YOU ARE DRIVING TOO SLOW.

"I am driving the speed limit. Just look at the mountains, and how beautiful they are."

YOU ARE DRIVING TOO FAST, AND SHOULD HAVE TURNED LEFT WHERE THAT HOUSE WAS".

"I am taking a different route".

I WANT A CHEESEBURGER.

"We can get one after the doctor appointment".

ARE YOU SICK?

"No, this is just for a check up".

CAN I DRIVE NOW?

"No, it is my turn, remember?"

(silence)

WHY DON'T WE JUST GO HOME?

"we will, just not soon enough".

OH.

And all this was before 10 A.M. Good that I had my coffee with me! the rest of the day followed suit.

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSHEL7 7/5/2014 10:22PM

    Just keep plugging away, you're doing great and your husband is so blessed to have you!!

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CHERIRIDDELL 7/4/2014 1:18AM

    You have the patience of a saint !

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LISA579 7/3/2014 8:10PM

    I am sorry. I hope it gets easier

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BMCOLLEY 7/3/2014 2:41AM

    You know, if that had been a kid it would have been funny. This is apparently getting worse. I hope you believe in prayer.

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BERRY4 7/3/2014 12:04AM

    Aye yi yi! LOL
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Praying grace to walk in the place you are in...
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ASKING FOR, AND GETTING HELP

Monday, June 30, 2014

ASKING for help is one thing. GETTING help is a whole different thing.

As some of you are aware, things are not very happy in my house right now. DH has Alzheimers, and I have Retinal Detachment going on. Not fun!!

Last week I went to my eye specialist and got the diagnosis. While there, he asked about my home life. When I told him, he asked a bunch of other questions like "who does your yard work?" and "Who does your house work?" And "How often can you get away from home to do pleasurable things?"

that put me into tears. I admitted I have looked for help, but have not had much luck in finding reliable people.

So he excused himself, and when he came back in, he said "OK. On Sunday, a guy is coming to your house to give an estimate on getting the moss off your roof, and on Monday, a young man is coming to do yard work for you. I use both of them, and highly recommend them. Here's the only rule……..YOU CAN'T STEAL THEM FROM ME!"

So on Sunday, sure enough the roof moss guy came and is going to have the estimate to me by Wednesday.

today a young man with his mother came, and we agreed to have him work for us on our yard.

So now I am down to needing help with the house and sitting with DH while I can go out to meetings and lunch with my girlfriends a couple days a week.

How's THAT for a Doctor???!!! I'm telling you, I never expected such care and concern, not to mention RESULTS!

I can already feel the load lightening up. MAYBE that light at the end of the tunnel in NOT a train coming at me after all.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANIHAKA 7/1/2014 2:32PM

    Wow there is a God after all. emoticon

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CHERIRIDDELL 7/1/2014 1:29PM

    What a wonderful doctor.I wish I lived closer I would happily sit with your husband so you could get out. I may walk on crutches but I can play games and listen to stories of the past and I am remarakably able at getting tea and making things requested of me. You are such a caring given person as is seen by the work you do with quilting.You must take care of your eyes.It is so important.We may be far away but we do care and make good friends to talk to.You are never alone. We think of you and worry for you.I am delighted your doctor got some help for you !

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1BEARWIFE 7/1/2014 12:48PM

    You have ALL been so wonderful to me! I truly thank you!

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IRON_RESOLVE 7/1/2014 10:37AM

    Really helpful when someone goes that extra mile, when you need it most. Lucky you, for having such a caring physician. And you are not pooh poohing his suggestions, but acting on them.
As my son jokes, ya just gotta "gitterdone"
Also, l work in Elder Care, and I do believe there is a provision for some Respite Care for persons in your care giving position. It is worth looking into.
Continue to take good care of yourself

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BERRY4 6/30/2014 8:26PM

    What a WONDERFUL blessing! You are so right--it's one thing to listen, and it's quite another to get RESULTS!
But I also happen to think, that in the same manner you have held out your hands and given freely to others, now there is a need / opportunity for others to give to you. And that is why we NEED each other!
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Blessings on your day!

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LISA579 6/30/2014 7:07PM

    they say when it seems all doors are closed God aalways opens a window.What a blessing.

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STONE815 6/30/2014 6:15PM

    emoticon Hope things really start to look up for you. emoticon

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MSHEL7 6/30/2014 5:16PM

    What a wonderful doc, wish we had those around here. I'm glad you are getting some help. Take care.

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Vitreous Detachment…….OH CRAP!!!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Hello Dear Sparkies,

Well, another little set back in my life of growing old.

As some of you know, DH has Alzheimer's, and that has curbed my "GO FOR IT" way of living greatly. Let me tell you, it is a real learning curve! A whole new challenge of acceptances.

So for the most part, I have accepted the new way of living with added stress.

Until yesterday.

I went to my eye doctor specialist because I was having pain, a sense of ripping and vision problems in my right eye. This is the same Dr. that did my eye surgery two years ago, and he is amazing.

He ran me through an exhaustive series of examinations, and sure enough, by right eye ain't what she used to be. I am diagnosed with Vitreous Detachment of my Right Eye. Also have floaters and light flashes.

This all means my retina is at risk. Here is what I learned about all this:

The retina is a thin layer of tissue that covers the inside wall at the back of the eye. The retina acts like the film of a camera to capture light signals that are then transmitted via the optic nerve to the brain to create vision.

The vitreous is a gel-like substance that fills the inside of the eye and is attached to the retina.

When healthy, the center of the retina, or the macula, allows us to see detail clearly. The area surrounding rthe macula is the peripheral retina and enables us to see the to the side (peripheral vision).

Damage to the retina is caused by disease, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, infection, in jury or aging. Many blood vessels nourish the retina, and when these leak or become obstructed, vision becomes blurry or is lost completely.

I cannot travel by plane until my eye is healed. This is because the changes in air pressure may cause pain and affect my eye.

Retinal detachment means the retina has separated from the wall of the eye. This can lead to severe vision loss or blindness.

So I am ordered to not do any heavy lifting, don't bend over for over a few minutes at a time, don't do anything that will cause the blood pressure to increase (ever tried to live with a loved one who has Alzheimers???!!!), and to do a LOT of resting, stay away from bright sunshine or bright lights…………….yada yada yada.

You get the point, I am sure.

SO!! No more heavy workouts for this kid for a while. Now I have to search my soul to find something that will release my pent up energy and stress, and have it be something GENTLE!
Can't do hour after hour reading, can't do hour after hour quilting, can't do hour after hour painting. No gardening, no steep hikes, no LONG hikes, no rowing machine………No No No. Do something GENTLE.

WHAT THE HELL DOES THAT MEAN?????????

Another learning curve. OH CRAP!!!!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHERIRIDDELL 7/1/2014 1:31PM

    I am so sorry.

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MSHEL7 6/30/2014 5:16PM

    Oh,, I'm so sorry, that must be miserable. Get better soon.

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TOWHEE 6/28/2014 10:28PM

    Oh, Sandy, how awful! emoticon

Can one of your doctors refer you to a physical therapist or occupational therapist, who can help guide you to your new normal? I know that you will cope somehow, but getting some professional help to find the right road makes a lot of sense to me.

Best wishes,

Margaret


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LISA579 6/28/2014 6:46PM

    I amm so sorry. to hear this bad news. I know it will bee hard but you can get past it. Is there any help you can get with your husband

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BERRY4 6/28/2014 3:51PM

    I don't want to share platitudes... So sorry for this difficult path you are walking!

Do you have family or anyone close at hand to share some of the load? Sometimes the sharing of a load helps to lessen the "mountain" that seems so overwhelming.
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Let me know if there is anything I can do--seriously!

Comment edited on: 6/28/2014 3:53:08 PM

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Hand made for DD

Monday, June 23, 2014

DD has a birthday today. Her mail hasn't yet arrived at her house, but here is what will be there for her Special Day.

First, to celebrate her birthday, she ought to go shopping with her new bag:


She has started her own business called 'Great Plates by Chef Cindy", so I think she needs to have special double potholders too.

for this Easter, this is the basket I made for her:

Now it is my time to get back to doing the thread painting on the quilt for this summer's quilt show. When it is finished, I will post photos.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DIANEDOESSMILES 6/24/2014 1:55AM

    WOW Sandy !! I just gave you a goodie,,. of a new machine to sew on,, and than I read ur blog,, and WOW OH WOW !! I had just told you about the specialness of my guilt my Grammie made me,,, and than I come and see such LOVE U have for ur DD !!! I hope she treasures these as much as I do the quilt that Grammie made for me !!! SURELY these hand made things are to be TREASURED ALL of our lives !! than passed on to the next generation !! And down and down !!

U are sooo wickly talented my friend !! SUCH AN HONOR to see ur work !! TY SO MUCH For posting the pics,, they are LOVELY !! I especially LOVe the pocket book !! here for one of those,, goes from 40 to 150 and UP for one !! The 40 are the CHEAPLY made ones,,, and UP over 150 are the hand made ones,,, HOW COOL hon !!! So happy you have this skill !! u bring such HAPPINESS to those who are sooo furtente to recifeve them !!

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LISA579 6/23/2014 7:28PM

    You are so talented. Those things are beautiful

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AALLEY2 6/23/2014 5:24PM

    emoticon You are talented! Love the handbag.
emoticon I am sure she will truly appreciate the hand made gifts!

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BERRY4 6/23/2014 3:01PM

    Thoughtful and creative!
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MSHEL7 6/23/2014 2:41PM

    Beautiful gifts, you are a wonderful quilter. These are something she can treasure her whole life.

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